The Care Dependency Scale, an instrument for the assessment of patients'care dependency, has been translated into German. The scale was tested on (inter-) rater reliability and criterion and construct validity in a hospital population on geriatric, surgical and paediatric wards. As the results of this study were very satisfying, positive recommendations regarding the suitability of the scale for use in the German nursing care situation could be made. However further psychometric testing of the scale is important, for instance in other populations. A final conclusion is that the scale may be used in care settings in German-speaking countries.