CQAIMH - center for quality assessment and improvement in mental health


Symptom Monitoring

  • The mood episodes of bipolar disorder are defined in DSM-IV by symptomatology; therefore, diagnosis and assessing response to treatment requires symptom monitoring.
  • Recognizing and monitoring signs and symptoms of manic and depressive symptoms is critical in assessing patient status. (1)
  • The use of a graphic display or timeline of life events and mood symptoms can be helpful in identifying early or recurrent signs or symptoms and in involving the patient in treatment. (2)

Altman Self Rating Scale for Mania (ASRM):

  • The ASRM is a brief, self-rating mania scale compatible with DSM-IV criteria that can be used to measure the presence and severity of manic symptoms for research or clinical purposes.

Self Report Form for Mood Episodes (SRF-ME):

  • The SRF-ME form is designed to be completed in the waiting room, prior to the office visit.
  • The SRF-ME includes self-reported frequency of 13 DSM-IV symptoms of mood elevation and depression which, collected over time, allows for tracking of symptoms in response to treatment.

Symptom Documentation Form:

  • The Symptom Documentation form lists usual DSM-IV criteria symptoms exhibited with depression and mania/hypomania and 3 domains where impaired function may occur.
  • Changes in symptomatology and function can be monitored by recording a baseline and evaluating on subsequent visits whether the condition is better, worse or the same.


  1. Keck PE, Defining and Improving Response to Treatment in Patients with Bipolar Disorder; J Clin Psychiatry 2004; 65 (sip 15) 25-29.
  2. Post RM, Roy-Byrne PP, Uhde TW: Graphic representation of the life course of illness in patients with affective disorder. AM J Psychiatry 1988; 145: 844-848

Copyright 2007 by the Center for Quality Assessment and Improvement in Mental Health