A survey of psychosocial morbidity in general practice was undertaken in a rural West Australian community. Twenty-two general practitioners collected information on 487 patients in a period of 5 weeks. The information comprised the socio-demographic characteristics of the patients, their illness profile and patterns of treatment and referral. The methodological issues considered for such a survey related to the selection of participating doctors, the identification of appropriate cases, the acceptability of a diagnostic classification and the definition of the population at risk. The methodology assessment established the plausibility of the findings compared to other studies, and hence the adequacy of the methodology used. The patterns of distribution of the psychosocial illness in relation to sex, age, diagnostic category, chronicity, the level of reporting of morbidity and treatment and referral were consistent with the findings of other studies.