Sixty women aged between 30 and 55 years, having hysterectomy for benign conditions, were prospectively studied to investigate psychological adjustment to operation, and to explore social, psychological and physical factors associated with psychological outcome. A further 30 women were included for prospective research on psychological outcome. Investigations took place within two weeks of operation and after four months and 14 months. The findings indicated a high prevalence of pre-operative psychological morbidity (55%), which reduced to 31.7% afterwards. There was no evidence that hysterectomy led to a greater psychological distress. The principal risk factors of poor psychological outcome were the previous scores on the mental health measures and personality inventory. Involvement in the research process did not appear to affect psychological outcome.