Depression and coronary heart disease (CHD) are common comorbid conditions in which each may be a risk factor for the other condition. However, treating depression does not appear to favorably alter cardiac outcome when depression and CHD are comorbid. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute working group convened in August, 2004 reviewed and recommended instruments to assess and treat depression in subjects with CHD. This paper focuses on these instruments and their limitations when compared and contrasted with the robust instruments available to assess CHD. As a result of our observations about the limitations of instruments and scales available to assess depression and depressive symptoms in subjects with comorbid CHD, we propose using the objectivity of CHD parameters to assess the efficacy of psychiatric interventions in patients with comorbid depression and to better define the link between depression and these cardiac conditions.