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The utility of the Mood Disorders Questionnaire as a screening tool in a methadone maintenance treatment program

journal contribution
posted on 2010-06-01, 00:00 authored by K A Villagonzalo, Seetal DoddSeetal Dodd, F Ng, S Mihaly, A Langbein, Michael BerkMichael Berk
Objective. Comorbid mental illness amongst methadone maintenance therapy clients may be common and screening may be warranted. The Mood Disorders Questionnaire (MDQ) is a screening tool for bipolar disorder that has been validated in other treatment settings. Its utility for patients with substance use disorders is assessed in this study.

Methods. Clients of a methadone maintenance program were invited to complete the MDQ when they attended a public Drug and Alcohol Service for their regular scheduled appointments. Information about their history of substance use was also collected.

Results. Eighty clients (43 females, 37 males) aged 35 8.0 years (mean SD) participated in the study. Seventy-four clients completed the MDQ of which 36 (48.6%) obtained a positive screen. A check of client fi les suggested that only three of the 74 participants had a current working diagnosis of bipolar disorder. These three participants had screened positive on the MDQ.

Conclusions. There was a high prevalence of manic symptoms reported by participants, suggesting that screening for bipolar disorder in this population may be warranted. However, there is a risk of false positives with the MDQ, as it does not clearly differentiate between symptoms of mania and drug intoxication.



International journal of psychiatry in clinical practice






150 - 153


Informa Healthcare


London, England





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal