The applicability of a model of appraisal and coping was studied in vocational rehabilitation patients (n = 31:16 men, 15 women); the selection of patients aimed at obtaining a representative patient group for studying coordinated rehabilitation within various health care districts in southern Sweden. There were four phases of data collection and model adjustment. An initial, semi-structured interview concerned various key topics (program evaluation; causal attribution regarding the problem or disease; life-crises, threats, mobbing and unjust treatment; feeling of control; current situation; future; how the interview was experienced). The second phase involved a questionnaire study of hypochondriacal and depressive symptomatology, the third the analysis of patient records, and the fourth outcome data on sickness allowances and disability pensions at a 2-year follow-up. The results indicate the importance for rehabilitation of attending to motivational factors that influence the patients' coping strategies and appraisal, and to cultural (immigrant) and gender perspectives.