A multidimensional index that measures the health status of individuals with arthritis has been developed. The Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (AIMS) are a combination of previously studied and newly created health status scales which assess physical, emotional, and social well-being. The self-administered AIMS questionnaire has been pilot tested in a mixed arthritis population. Results indicate that the instrument is practical and that it generates scalable, reliable, and valid measures of both aggregated and disaggregated health status. The AIMS approach to health status measurement should prove useful for evaluating the outcomes of arthritis treatments and programs.