Assessment of bipolar spectrum in depressed patient’s referred to psychiatric outpatient clinics

Document Type : Research Paper



Mood disorders are common psychiatric disorders among which bipolar mood spectrum may be misdiagnosed some times because patient referred to the psychologist during depression phase or manic phase may be ignored; this may cause some problems in treatment of these cases. In this study we have evaluated the prevalence of bipolar spectrum among patient with primary diagnosis of depression.
Methods and Materials: This is a descriptive study on 250 patients with primary diagnosis of unipolar depression according to DSM-IV criteria who managed by antidepressant agent in psychiatric clinic of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences evaluated by clinical interview and Mood Disorders Questionnaire (MDQ) test.
Results: Mean age was 36.2 years; female to male ratio was 1.5:1. More common diagnosis includes depression super imposed on dysthymic and major depression disorder. Finally according to MDQ and assuming the cut off line of 6 for bipolar spectrum, bipolar spectrum was reported in 44.8%. Sex (P=0.383) and marriage status (P=0.40) weren’t related to prevalence of bipolar spectrum but bipolar spectrum was more common in those with depression in family history (P=0.029).
Conclusion: According to high prevalence of bipolar mood disorder in this study we suggest the screening of all patients with primary diagnosis of depression for bipolar spectrum by MDQ.