A person's ability to cope with having motor neurone disease may be an important factor in determining their quality of life. We have developed a scale to measure coping strategies in people with MND. A disease-specific and patient-focused approach was employed. Open-ended interviews were used to generate initial items. Coping with the condition was an important consideration for all subjects. The final scale was administered to a sample of 44 people with MND. A factor analysis of the results demonstrated subscales comprised of distinct styles of coping. Reliability and validity were demonstrated within individual subscales. Significant correlations were shown between coping styles and psychological well being, disease duration and disability. Although still at a preliminary stage of development, the MND Coping Scale is proposed as a useful tool for further longitudinal study of coping in MND, with the potential to discover cause effect relationships between coping and psychological outcome.