The Rapid Mood Screener (RMS): A novel and pragmatic screener for bipolar I disorder
Depressive episodes and symptoms of bipolar I disorder are commonly misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD) in primary care. The novel and pragmatic Rapid Mood Screener (RMS) was developed to screen for manic symptoms and bipolar I disorder features (e.g., age of depression onset) to address this unmet clinical need. A targeted literature search was conducted to select concepts thought to differentiate bipolar I from MDD and screener tool items were drafted. Items were tested and
... e tested and refined in cognitive debriefing interviews with individuals with self-reported bipolar I or MDD (N = 12). An observational study was conducted to evaluate predictive validity. Participants with clinical interview-confirmed bipolar I or MDD diagnoses (N = 139) completed a draft 10-item screening tool and other questionnaires. Data were analyzed to identify the smallest possible subset of items with optimized sensitivity and specificity. Adults with confirmed bipolar I (n = 67) or MDD (n = 72) participated in the observational study. Ten draft screening tool items were reduced to 6 final RMS items based on item-level analysis. When 4 or more items of the RMS were endorsed ("yes"), sensitivity was 0.88 and specificity was 0.80; positive and negative predictive values were 0.80 and 0.88, respectively. These properties were an improvement over the Mood Disorder Questionnaire in the same analysis sample while using 60% fewer items. The pragmatic 6-item RMS differentiates bipolar I disorder from MDD in patients with depressive symptoms, providing real-world guidance to primary care practitioners on whether more comprehensive assessment for bipolar I disorder is warranted.