We have validated a Portuguese version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) tests by obtaining profiles for three Brazilian samples: 270 university students, 117 panic patients and 30 depressed patients. The mean BDI scores were higher for depressed patients (25.2 +/- 12.6), intermediate for anxious patients (15.8 +/- 10.3) and lower for students (8.5 +/- 7.0). Mean STAI scores for anxious (52.8 +/- 11.4) and depressed patients (56.4 +/- 10.5) were higher than for the student sample (40.7 +/- 8.6). BDI and STAI scores were correlated significantly in all samples. The internal consistency of the Portuguese version of BDI is in agreement with the literature (0.81 for students and 0.88 for depressed patients). The present data demonstrate that the psychometric properties of the Portuguese versions of the BDI and STAI are comparable to the original English language versions of these questionnaires, thereby indicating their use in clinical situations.