BACKGROUND: Elevated depressive symptoms among survivors of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) confer recurrent cardiovascular events and mortality, worse quality of life, and higher healthcare costs. While multiple scientific groups advise routine depression screening for ACS survivors, no randomized trials exist to inform this screening recommendation. We aimed to assess the effect of screening for depression on change in quality of life over 18months among ACS patients. METHODS: The Comparison of Depression Identification after Acute Coronary Syndrome on Quality of Life and Cost Outcomes (CODIACS-QoL) trial is a pragmatic, 3-arm trial that randomized ACS patients to 1) systematic depression screening using the 8-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) and if positive screen (PHQ-8>/=10), notification of primary care providers (PCPs) and invitation to participate in centralized, patient-preference, stepped depression care (Screen, Notify, and Treat, N=499); 2) systematic depression screening and PCP notification only (Screen and Notify, N=501); and 3) usual care (No Screen, N=500). Adults hospitalized for ACS in the previous 2-12months without prior history of depression were eligible for participation. Key outcomes will be quality-adjusted life years (primary), cost of health care utilization, and depression-free days across 18months. RESULTS: A total of 1500 patients were randomized in the CODIACS-QOL trial (28.3% women; 16.3% Hispanic; mean age 65.9 (11.5) years). Only 7% of ACS survivors had elevated depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Using a novel randomization schema and pragmatic design principles, the CODIACS-QoL trial achieved its enrollment target. Eventual results of this trial will inform future depression screening recommendations in cardiac patients. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01993017).