We report on attempts to improve the Richmond/Hopkins Family Coping Index. Factor analysis showed that revised operational guidelines for using the index probably contributed to a significantly higher per cent of variance explained by the index (83 per cent versus 59 per cent). Interrater reliability was high (greater than or equal to .97). Correlation between this index and another coping index was also high (.94). Results support the continued use of the Family Coping Index--with new instructions--to assess patient/family coping.