Bipolar disorder is commonly misdiagnosed, perhaps more so in Latin American and Spanish-speaking populations than in the United States. The Bipolar Spectrum Diagnostic Scale (BSDS) is a 19-item screening instrument designed to assist in screening for all types of bipolar disorder.
The authors investigated the sensitivity of a Spanish-language version of the BSDS in a cohort of 65 outpatients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, based on a semi-structured interview and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria. To determine specificity, we assessed a control group of 36 outpatients with diagnosis of unipolar major depressive disorder.
The overall sensitivity of the BSDS Spanish version with bipolar disorders types I, II, and NOS was 0.70, which was slightly lower than the sensitivity in the study using the English version of the BSDS (0.76). The specificity was 0.89. When the threshold was decreased from 13 to 12, the sensitivity of the Spanish BSDS increased to 0.76 and specificity dropped to 0.81.
The Spanish version of the BSDS is promising as a screening instrument in Spanish-speaking populations.