The prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorder in medical students of Pakistan


  • Muhammad Hassaan Ali Department of Psychiatry, Shaikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Hamza Maqsood Department of Psychiatry, Nishtar Medical University, Multan, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Hassan Jalil Department of Psychiatry, Nishtar Medical University, Multan, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Hafiz Farhan Shoukat Department of Psychiatry, Nishtar Medical University, Multan, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Hassan Abdullah Shakeel Department of Psychiatry, Nishtar Medical University, Multan, Punjab, Pakistan



Bipolar, Depression, Euthymic, Stigma


Background: Bipolar affective disorder is cyclic swinging of mood between mania or hypo-mania and depression. Bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability worldwide and has a lifetime prevalence of about 1 to 3% in the general population. Despite a growing body of knowledge on bipolar spectrum disorder (BSD), relatively little is known about the clinical characteristics of BSD in medical students. This study evaluates the prevalence and severity of BSD in medical students in relation to certain socio-demographic factors like age, sex and class of education.

Methods: A questionnaire based study was done on 298 medical students of Nishtar Medical University, Multan and Shaikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan chosen on basis of random sampling to test the prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorders using Mood Disorder questionnaire (MDQ). Out of these students 161 were males and 137 were females. Students were interviewed to obtain information about age, sex and academic year of education.

Results: According to mood disorder questionnaire scoring, of the total 298 students 80 (26.84%) screened positive for bipolar spectrum disorder (BSD). Among 80 students who screened positive for BSD 43 (53.75%) are males while 37 (46.25%) are females. Class-wise distribution of BSD is as follows: Out of 80 students screened positive 15 (18.75%) are from 2nd year, 22 (27.5%) from 3rd year and 43 (53.75) from 4th year. Age-wise distribution of BSD is as following: Students of age 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 years suffering from BSD were 5 (6.25%), 17 (21.25%), 23(28.75),22 (27.5%) and 13 (16.25%) respectively.

Conclusions: In our study, the estimated rate of prevalence for bipolar spectrum disorder among medical students of Pakistan is 26.84%. There was no significant difference in prevalence on the basis of gender. Prevalence was increasing with both age and class wise distribution.

Author Biography

Hafiz Farhan Shoukat, Department of Psychiatry, Nishtar Medical University, Multan, Punjab, Pakistan

Nishtar Medical University,Medical Student


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How to Cite

Ali, M. H., Maqsood, H., Jalil, M. H., Shoukat, H. F., & Shakeel, H. A. (2019). The prevalence of bipolar spectrum disorder in medical students of Pakistan. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 7(5), 1618–1621.



Original Research Articles