Multidimensional health patterning of three groups of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) was examined. Changing patterns over a 5-year period for each group also were examined. Serial self-assessments of the subjects' prevalence of MS-related symptoms (motor, brainstem, sensory, elimination, mental-emotional) and level of ADL functioning (fine and gross motor activities, sensory/communication, socializing/recreation, intimacy) were obtained by mail. The number of subjects grouped by years since diagnosis was: 69 (0–5), 49 (>5-10), and 93 (>10). Study findings indicated significantly higher levels of functioning in areas of fine and gross motor activities and intimacy among the more recently diagnosed group but no difference among the groups for sensory/communication, recreation/socializing, and symptoms. Significant increases in motor and brainstem symptoms and decline in fine and gross motor activities and intimacy occurred over the 5-year period particularly for the 0 to 5 year postdiagnosis group. Knowledge of symptom and ADL patterning is essential for nurses and other health care providers in anticipating the concerns and needed services of persons with MS and their families.