Self-report measures were completed by 59 individuals with motor neurone disease (MND) in order to assess whether: (a) MND affects patients' psychological well-being and quality of life; (b) if greater affective disorder is associated with greater physical disability; (c) whether accepting the illness and ways of coping have an impact on psychological distress, and (d) if beliefs over control of their health shift as the disease progresses. Results indicated that the effects of MND on everyday functioning accounted for incidence of depression and low self-esteem. Acceptance of illness was related to severity of symptoms and was a significant factor irrespective of level of physical symptomatology. Ways of coping with the illness did not relate in any significant way to severity of symptoms. Mild physical impairments were associated with an 'internal' view of control over health.