Performance objectives for the self-management of cystic fibrosis (CF) were developed and subjected to a two-stage content validation. A multidisciplinary team of health care professionals generated a list of 149 medical and adjustment performance objectives. Behaviors included monitoring symptoms and judging their significance, treating symptoms and communicating with health care providers about symptoms and treatment plans. In the first stage a panel of experts in the medical and behavioral aspects of CF rated each behavior. In general, the eleven panelists rated the 149 behaviors as somewhat important or important (mean 2.6, S.D. 0.17, on a 3-point scale). In the second stage, 84 of 155 CF center directors rated all behaviors as somewhat important or important (mean 2.9, S.D. 0.23). Specific behaviors related to medical regimens were more consistently rated as important than were those related to psychosocial adjustment. The performance objectives provide a framework for developing and evaluating health education programs for the self-management of CF in order to promote optimum health and adjustment.