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Screening for anxiety and depression in primary-care clinics has the potential to increase identification and treatment of affected patients. The feasibility of such screening, however, depends on the availability of quick, easily interpretable screening tools.In this pair of studies, a 4-item screening instrument was developed from the depression and anxiety scales of the Brief Symptom Inventory. One sample of undergraduate volunteers was used to identify pairs of items to be included in the screener. A second sample of primary-care patients was used to evaluate the performance of these items as compared to other measures of the same construct and a standardized clinical interview.The studies suggest that 4 items from the Brief Symptom Inventory can be used to identify patients with depression and/or anxiety in primary care.Circumstances under which this measure, compared to other measures such as the Patient Health Questionnaire, would be appropriate are discussed.