Persons with arthritis who attended a 12-hour self-management course generally showed improved health behaviors and improved health status. However, no association was found between the two. We therefore interviewed 54 course participants to determine factors that were associated with positive and negative health-status outcomes. Persons having positive outcomes indicated that they had more control over their disease and had a positive emotional status. Persons with negative outcomes indicated a lack of control and generally had a negative emotional status. These differences were statistically significant.