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.