10006791 J Clin Psychiatry / Document Archive

Psychiatrist.com Home    Keyword Search

Close [X]

Search Our Sites

Enter search terms below (keywords, titles, authors, or subjects). Then select a category to search and press the Search button. All words are assumed to be required. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotes. To exclude a term, precede it with a minus sign (-).

Keyword search:

Choose a category:

Choosing the appropriate category will greatly improve your chances of finding the best match.

All files at our sites: J Clin Psychiatry, Primary Care Companion, CME Institute, and MedFair

Search materials from our journals:

Abstracts from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements

PDFs of the full text of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1996–present, both regular issues and supplements (Net Society Platinum [paid subscribers])

PDFs of the full text of The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1999–present

Search CME offerings:

CME Institute, including CME from journals , supplements, and Web activities for instant CME credit (Net Society Gold [registered users]); also includes information about our CME program

CME activities from regular issues of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])

CME Supplements from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Net Society Gold [registered users])


The article you requested is

Screening for Bipolar Disorder and Finding Borderline Personality Disorder

J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(9):1212-1217
Copyright 2010 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

To view this item, select one of the options below.

    1. Purchase this PDF for $40
      If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
      (You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
    2. Subscribe
      Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP print + online for $166 individual.
      JCP's 75th AnniversaryCelebrate!
      Celebrate JCP's 75th Anniversary with a special online-only subscription price of $75.
    1. Activate
      If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
    2. Sign in
      As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
  1. Did you forget your password?

Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send an email


Objective: Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder share some clinical features and have similar correlates. It is, therefore, not surprising that differential diagnosis is sometimes difficult. The Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) is the most widely used screening scale for bipolar disorder. Prior studies found a high false-positive rate on the MDQ in a heterogeneous sample of psychiatric patients and primary care patients with a history of trauma. In the present report from the Rhode Island Methods to Improve Diagnostic Assessment and Services project, we examined whether psychiatric outpatients without bipolar disorder who screened positive on the MDQ would be significantly more often diagnosed with borderline personality disorder than patients who did not screen positive.

Method: The study was conducted from September 2005 to November 2008. Five hundred thirty-four psychiatric outpatients were interviewed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders and asked to complete the MDQ. Missing data on the MDQ reduced the sample size to 480. Approximately 10% of the study sample were diagnosed with a lifetime history of bipolar disorder (n=52) and excluded from the initial analyses.

Results: Borderline personality disorder was 4 times more frequently diagnosed in the MDQ positive group than the MDQ negative group (21.5% vs 4.1%, P<.001). The results were essentially the same when the analysis was restricted to patients with a current diagnosis of major depressive disorder (27.6% vs 6.9%, P=.001). Of the 98 patients who screened positive on the MDQ in the entire sample of patients, including those diagnosed with bipolar disorder, 23.5% (n=23) were diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and 27.6% (n=27) were diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Conclusions: Positive results on the MDQ were as likely to indicate that a patient has borderline personality disorder as bipolar disorder. The clinical utility of the MDQ in routine clinical practice is uncertain.

J Clin Psychiatry

Submitted: February 23, 2009; accepted May 6, 2009.

Online ahead of print: March 23, 2010 (doi:10.4088/JCP.09m05161yel).

Corresponding author: Mark Zimmerman, MD, Bayside Medical Center, 235 Plain St, Providence, RI 02905 (mzimmerman@lifespan.org).