The objectives of this study were to: (1) study if an opportunistic screening of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors among male attenders in general practice (GP) influenced the overall subjective satisfaction with life of persons labelled 'high risk' compared to other screened persons; (2) compare psychological well-being and patient satisfaction in a patient centred and self-directive (PCSD) intervention with conventional care (CC); and (3) evaluate patient satisfaction and psychological well-being among subjects with high CHD risk during a one year intervention study. Effects of 'labelling' were evaluated in 115 subjects with high CHD risk in comparison with a low risk reference population. The 22 participating GP centres were randomly allocated to follow either a PCSD intervention or a CC approach. An overall satisfaction with life question was employed and psychological well-being were measured using the General Health Questionnaire (20 item version). Satisfaction measures on health care aspects were also included. No difference of change between the high risk and the reference population was found concerning satisfaction with life after screening. No significant difference of change was found within or between the PCSD and the CC group concerning emotional well-being or overall satisfaction with life during one year intervention. Satisfaction with the care received was significantly better in the CC group as compared with the PCSD group (p = 0.02). Satisfaction with own efforts for improving health was, however, more pronounced in the PCSD group (p = 0.01). A substantial number (n = 61) of the participants reported distaste of being reminded of the risk of heart disease and no more than 60 of the participants were satisfied with their own efforts for improving health. Although no significant change of satisfaction with life and emotional well-being due to screening or intervention could be detected, clinicians should be aware that encouraging patients to change life style may lead to patients' annoyance of being reminded of the risk of disease and dissatisfaction with their own efforts. Increasing patient responsibility and self-determination may improve their satisfaction with their own efforts, but reduce satisfaction with medical care.