A disease-specific questionnaire to assess the quality of life of renal transplant recipients was developed. A list of items of potential relevance to these patients was created and 50 transplant recipients rated the importance of each item. A combination of factor analysis and clinical judgment was then used to create the final questionnaire which consists of 25 questions in 5 dimensions (physical symptoms, fatigue, uncertainty/fear, appearance and emotions). The physical symptoms dimension is patient specific. All questions are scored on a 7-point Likert scale. The reproducibility of the questionnaire when it was administered to stable transplant recipients was high (intraclass correlation coefficients between 0.82 and 0.91 for the 5 dimensions). The scores of all dimensions except appearance improved 6 months after transplantation, when compared to pre-transplantation scores. Patients who had a well-functioning graft (creatinine < 250 mmol/l) had higher scores than those with poorly functioning grafts. This questionnaire is easy to administer and is valid, reproducible in stable patients and responsive to change.