Illness-related problems and coping were examined in 60 individuals with muscular dystrophy (MD) identified in a population survey of the county of Orebro, Sweden. In addition, the extent to which coping is related to quality of life (QoL) was investigated as was the impact of impairment and disability on the relation between coping and QoL. Emotion/appraisal-focused coping was utilized by respondents more than twice as often as problem-focused coping. High QoL was significantly correlated to "Stoic acceptance" and "Tried alternative treatment." Low QoL was associated with "Helpless/hopeless," "Anxious preoccupation," "Minimization," "Social comparison," "Establishment of control over everyday life," "Performs the task with the aid of an appliance" and "Accepts help or leaves it to others." When measures of impairment and disability were included in the analysis, the impact of these measures explained the association between coping and physical QoL by 16% to 43%.