The utility of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) as a screening instrument for coronary care patients following acute myocardial infarction (MI) was investigated. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted on the HADS to determine its psychometric properties in 335 MI patients over three observation points (1 week, 6 weeks and 6 months). Internal and test-retest reliabilities of the HADS total and HADS sub-scale scores were generally found to be acceptable. The underlying factor structure of the HADS comprised three distinct factors. Support was found for the use of the HADS sub-scales to assess dimensions of anhedonia, psychic anxiety and psychomotor agitation. The HADS may be a useful screening instrument to assess post-MI patients for symptoms of psychological distress. Further research is required to determine the three-factor structure of the HADS in other clinical groups.