Objective: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a long-term condition that detrimentally affects health-related quality of life (HRQoL), with self-management proposed as an effective treatment. Using self-determination theory (SDT), this research explored psychological need satisfaction, frustration, and behavioural regulation to explain indicators of self-management. Design and Main Outcome Measures: Cross-sectional, questionnaire-based methods in people on a pulmonary rehabilitation waiting-list. 72 participants completed SDT, HRQoL, and self-management knowledge questionnaires. Path analyses investigated the ability of SDT concepts to predict self-management knowledge and HRQoL. Results: Chi-square tests found no significant differences (χ2(13, N=72) = 16.7, p > 0.05) between the just – and over-identified models, and multiple measures suggested an acceptable fit to the data. Relatedness frustration positively predicted controlled regulation and autonomy and relatedness satisfaction positively predicted autonomous regulation. The associations between the other needs and the different regulation types were not statistically significant. Both regulation types strongly predicted HRQoL (35% variance explained) and self-management knowledge (22% variance explained). Conclusion: SDT concepts can predict more self-determined self-management regulation, self-management knowledge, and HRQoL and provide a framework for researchers and healthcare professionals to develop future health interventions for people with COPD. Greater research is needed to understand basic psychological need frustration in health contexts.