Evaluation of the relative efficacy of three screening instruments for depression and anxiety in a group of stroke patients was undertaken as part of the Perth community stroke study. Data are presented on the sensitivity and specificity of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAPS), the Geriatric Depression Scale and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) (28-item version) in screening patients 4 months after stroke for depressive and anxiety disorders diagnosed according to DSM-III criteria. The GHQ-28 and GDS but not the HADS depression, were shown to be satisfactory screening instruments for depression, with the GHQ-28 having an overall superiority. The performance of all 3 scales for screening post-stroke anxiety disorders was less satisfactory. The HADS anxiety had the best level of sensitivity, but the specificity and positive predictive values were low and the misclassification rate high.