One hundred and two rural patients and 100 urban patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthrosis and 203 age and sex matched controls were visited in their homes to evaluate their problems, needs, and expectations. Although one would expect disability to affect the mobility of a person, it was found that rural patients were more mobile than their urban counterparts despite the same degree of functional disability. They were more content with their lot, even though their circumstances were less favourable. Both groups of patients had little contact with their general practitioners, social workers, or district nurses, and lacked informations about their disease and the availability of financial grants or home adaptations. The main problem for the individual patient was not pain, but the frustration of being unable to do things they used to do and of dependency on others.