The effect of a stress management program on morbidity and psychosocial and physical function in patients with chronic lung disease was assessed. Adults attending either a VA pulmonary clinic or university hospital pulmonary rehabilitation clinic who met criteria for obstructive or restrictive pulmonary disease were randomly assigned to receive the intervention or to a control group. The intervention was provided by a nurse and included one to three teaching sessions, reading material, audiotapes, and telephone follow-up. The program focused on stress management techniques such as cognitive restructuring, progressive relaxation, breathing exercises, and visual imagery. The 45 experimental subjects were similar to the 49 controls with respect to baseline characteristics. Experimental and control subjects had similar rates of mortality, hospital days, bed-disability days, restricted-activity days, and physician visits during the 12-month follow-up. There were no differences between the two groups in physical or psychosocial function at six months or in levels of stressful life changes, social supports, and self-esteem at six and 12 months. Intervention recipients had better function at 12 months, suggesting a possible benefit of the intervention.