Objectives To explore to what extent the daily reporting of anxiety, depression and activity in a diary mirrors scores on point assessments with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale ( HADS). Methods In a randomized intervention study consecutive breast cancer patients ( n = 179) about to start adjuvant therapy were included. The HADS questionnaires were sent to patients 3 and 12 months after inclusion. Daily reporting of anxiety, depression and activity on Visual Analogue Scales ( VAS) were completed during 4 weeks surrounding the HADS assessments. Results The results showed moderate correlations ( r = -0.36 to -0.67, P < 0.01) at both assessments. The daily reports were consistent over 4 weeks and did not differ between assessments. Mean scores on the HAD-Anxiety were 4.00 at the 3 months and 5.07 at the 12 months assessment. For the HAD-Depression the mean scores at the same assessment points were 3.61 and 3.23, respectively. The daily reports put more strain on the respondents and produced a larger attrition rate than the HADS. Conclusion A point assessment with the HADS captures the situation of breast cancer patients' equivalent to 4 weeks assessment in a diary, but is easier to complete and is therefore preferable to the diary.