Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the level of and the relationship between symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) at admittance and recovery at discharge in patients with severe depression, in a rural inpatient psychiatric setting. Furthermore, whether the anxiety level at admission and/or, if the extent of patients' perception of family support from professionals were related to recovery.Method: Patients admitted with depression were consecutively invited to participate during a 12-month period. Depression, anxiety and stress were measured with DASS (The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale) and HRQoL with The Icelandic Quality of Life scale at admission and discharge. Family support was measured with Icelandic Family Perceived Support Questionnaire at discharge.Results: Majority of the participants had severe depression and anxiety scores (93.8% and 76.9%, respectively) at admission and HRQoL was impaired, especially in men. At discharge, almost three quarters of the participants had recovered into the outpatient or functional symptoms level and HRQoL had increased significantly. Morbid anxiety delayed recovery significantly, but perceived cognitive family support was positively related to depression recovery.Conclusion: Hospitalisation is an effective intervention for severe depression in rural Iceland. Positive benefits in both depression and HRQoL occur, where most of the participants reach outpatient or normal level of depression.