Mental health conditions are exceedingly common and costly in the U.S. medical system. Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention estimate that they account for 60 million visits to primary care and 6 million ER visits annually. Depression alone accounts for more than 10% of all primary care visits. These conditions result in a sobering 44,000 suicides per year in the U.S. Screening for these conditions is commonly performed in most primary care practices with supporting recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for conditions such as depression, alcohol, etc.

In busy primary care practices, many screening forms are completed by patients prior to the provider entering the room, while others are completed at the point of care and/or during the patient interview. Some screening instruments, such as the PHQ-2, PHQ-9, GAD-7, are easy to find in other apps, while some such as the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) are rarer. Additionally, current guidelines for major depressive disorder (MDD) recommend ruling out bipolar disorder as part of the work-up making access to the MDQ even more important. Previously, we reviewed the all-in-one Psych on Demand and loved that app not only because it contains the MDQ, but it also has over 35 other mental health screening instruments for just $1.99. I recently took a look at Psych on Demand and found it to be the best app of its kind currently available.

But what if you don’t need all of those instruments and just want the MDQ and more importantly want the MDQ for free. App developer and former Duke undergrad and now medical student Eddie Liu has created a free single app of the MDQ. Additionally, he has created over 20 other free apps covering a wide variety of common mental health conditions.

Evidence-based medicine

The Bipolar Disorder Test app is a free easy-to-use version of the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ). The MDQ is the most commonly cited, validated screening test for bipolar disorder and ideal for primary care use. The MDQ instrument is paired with a section discussing the evidence behind it and links to validation studies on PubMed.

Who would benefit from this App?

Patients/family members, Medical students, primary care physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mid-levels, hospital medicine physicians, nurses, pharmacists or any provider who evaluates patients with mental health conditions.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

  • Price
    • Free.
  • o Evidence-based information on the MDQ plus scoring/interpretation.

    o Hyperlinks to PubMed studies validating the MDQ.

    O App is free.

    o Android version available.

  • Dislikes

    o Seems designed for patients, but ideal for providers.

    o Cannot store tests on the app.

    o Only one test incorporated per “app”.

  • Overall

    The Bipolar Disorder Test app is a fantastic value for anyone who screens patients for bipolar disorder or needs to rule it out during a depression work-up. The app is easy to use and contains extras such as general information about bipolar disorder and evidence about the MDQ instrument as well as links to validation studies on PubMed. Although the app only contains the MDQ, the app is free and the author makes numerous other apps that contain specific instruments for depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, etc.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Easy to use interface for patients with additional information to help them interpret the results (easily used by providers as well).

  • Multimedia Usage

    App contains several links to the PubMed articles that validated the MDQ.

  • Price

    App is free.

  • Real World Applicability

    Bipolar Disorder Test app can be used by any provider who is concerned a patient may have bipolar disorder and is looking for a quick and easy way to administer the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ). The MDQ can also be used as part of the work-up for major depressive disorder to help rule-out bipolar disorder. There are now a number of easy and free or inexpensive ways to perform this test at the point of care.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 8 running iOS 11.4.1

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad