As a basis for developing interventions to meet the psycho-educational needs of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) outpatients attending a regional hospital have been investigated. Specifically, patients' preferences for interventions addressing education (e.g. the disease and its treatment), self-management (e.g. pain-management, exercise) and the consequences (e.g. emotions, impact on work, family relationships) of RA were examined. In addition, psychological well-being and self-efficacy were examined. Results showed that patients preferred education about the disease and its treatment to be delivered on a one-to-one basis by health professionals. Similarly, emotional issues were believed to be best dealt with one-to-one although this could be with a similar other (i.e. a patient). Group interventions were the preferred format for self-management, exercise and relationship issues, whereas videos were thought to be useful for demonstrating use of aids and how other families cope. None of the participants would welcome computer-based interventions. Psychological well-being (e.g. depression, anxiety) remained stable over a 12-month period. Both physical and psychological health status were correlated with arthritis self-efficacy. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to development of interventions to better meet the psycho-educational needs of outpatients with RA.