The reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (CHDS) was assessed. Interrater reliability was excellent, the item total-score correlations were good, and the internal reliability was satisfactory. The concurrent validity was tested by correlating the CHDS score with the Global Assessment Scale score; the strong negative correlation found indicated that the CHDS reflects the overall level of disability. Five distinct factors were generated by principle-component analysis; these factors account for 52.4% of the total variance. Rigorous evaluation of the numerous translated scales being used in clinical and research settings of non-Western countries is important.