The Black Dog Institute’s online MAP – Using the Internet to help GPs Diagnose and Treat Mood Disorders

The Black Dog Institute’s online Mood Assessment Program (MAP) is a diagnostic tool available free of charge to GPs and Psychologists throughout Australia. It is an invaluable aid in the management of mood disorders.

The online MAP provides a reliable second opinion in the diagnosis in mood disorders that is especially helpful to practitioners who are working in rural and remote locations, or where specialist psychiatric support is difficult to obtain. It is based on the Black Dog Institute’s subtyping model of depression, providing very useful information about appropriate treatment choices for individual patients.

It not only provides guidance about depression subtype, thus helping with the “to prescribe or not prescribe” dilemma, but also gives a clear indication of the likelihood of bipolar disorder, the presence of anxiety disorders and the nature and scale of the patient’s personality vulnerability. All this information is useful both in treating the current episode and preventing the next.

The MAP can be completed by the patient in their own home without supervision. It is accessed via a secure website using an access code provided by the referrer and reports are sent directly and promptly to the referring practitioner. It has been designed to be used in conjunction with clinical assessment and has been well validated over a number of years at the Black Dog Institute’s tertiary referral Depression Clinic and in community based studies in metropolitan and rural NSW.

The Institute is keen to encourage all practitioners across Australia to make use of the online MAP in the belief that more accurate diagnosis of mood disorders will have a positive influence on patient outcomes, as well as make practitioner’s lives easier.

Dr Jan Orman
GP Services Consultant, Black Dog Institute
3rd Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium
“Impacts & Outcomes” – Mercure, Ballarat 14th – 16th November 2011