Three widely used depression scales—the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D), and General Well Being Schedule depression subscale (GWB-D)—were studied in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Twenty-three rheumatologists identified 19 of the 45 items on these three questionnaires as likely to differ in patients with RA and control subjects because of the presence of RA, regardless of psychological status. Responses to 13 of these 19 individual scale items, designated as “RA-related items,” differed significantly in 41 RA patients versus 57 agematched control subjects. Only three of the other 26 items differed significantly in the two groups. These data extend evidence that responses of people with RA on widely used depression scales might be affected by somatic disease regardless of psychological status.