Abstract. Background: International disease management guidelines recommend the regular assessment of depression and anxiety in heart failure patients. Currently there is little data on the effect of screening for depression and anxiety on the quality of life and the prognosis of heart failure (HF). We will investigate the association between the recognition of current depression/anxiety by the general practitioner (GP) and the quality of life and the patients' prognosis. Methods/Design. In this multicenter, prospective, observational study 3,950 patients with HF are recruited by general practices in Germany. The patients fill out questionnaires at baseline and 12-month follow-up. At baseline the GPs are interviewed regarding the somatic and psychological comorbidities of their patients. During the follow-up assessment, data on hospitalization and mortality are provided by the general practice. Based on baseline data, the patients are allocated into three observation groups: HF patients with depression and/or anxiety recognized by their GP (P+/+), those with depression and/or anxiety not recognized (P+/-) and patients without depression and/or anxiety (P-/-). We will perform multivariate regression models to investigate the influence of the recognition of depression and/or anxiety on quality of life at 12 month follow-up, as well as its influences on the prognosis (hospital admission, mortality). Discussion. We will display the frequency of GP-acknowledged depression and anxiety and the frequency of installed therapeutic strategies. We will also describe the frequency of depression and anxiety missed by the GP and the resulting treatment gap. Effects of correctly acknowledged and missed depression/anxiety on outcome, also in comparison to the outcome of subjects without depression/anxiety will be addressed. In case results suggest a treatment gap of depression/anxiety in patients with HF, the results of this study will provide methodological advice for the efficient planning of further interventional research.