This study examined the usefulness of self-report measures of emotional disorder in a relatively acute, severely head injured population (i.e. individuals who had sustained their injuries within the previous two years). The General Health Questionnaire, the Leeds Scales of Depression and Anxiety, and Visual Analogue Scales of Depression and Anxiety were administered to 39 severely head injured subjects and 35 'close others' who were required to give their opinions on how they thought the head injured subjects were feeling. Twenty head injured subjects were re-tested within a week. Results indicated that the head injured are able to reliably complete self-report scales as indicated by the 'close others' similar reports. The head injured seem to be relatively aware of their overt behaviours and emotions, at least when utilizing the General Health Questionnaire and the Leeds Scale of Depression. According to the measures of emotional disposition used in the present study, emotional disorder was found to be common. From the results it was further suggested that lack of a close confiding relationship predicts emotional disorder and may be used to identify those subjects at risk. Overall, the results provide confidence for the use of self-report scales as a preliminary approach to the identification of emotional disorder in the severely head injured.