The informant interviews which provide the basis of the assessment of staff depression recognition were carried out after the Geriatric Depression Scale interviews with a member of staff who had prior knowledge of the resident. The resident/ care staff relationship provides an opportunity for recognising symptoms of depression and referring sufferers for further assessment and treatment if required. They were asked to make an assessment using a four-point scale: definitely not depressed, probably not depressed, probably depressed and definitely depressed. When the responses were collapsed into 'depressed' and 'not depressed' the depression recognition rate of the nurses studied was only 38 per cent. Staff used the 'gloomy' category regularly compared to the mild but definite depression category or any other definite depression ratings. Consequently two methods of examining the data were used when comparing the staff rating with the case/non-case rating of depression from the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)-15 assessment.