We examined the association between illness perceptions and depression symptoms in established haemodialysis patients (HD). Two hundred and fifteen patients completed the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI). Patients with a BDI ≥ 16 were termed as 'depressed'. Lower personal control and illness coherence, and greater perceived consequences were all related to depression significantly increasing the explained variance over clinical factors. Our findings suggest it is not disease characteristics or co-morbidity per se that is related to mood symptoms in HD patients, rather the apparent interpretation and regulation of the illness.