Background and aim: In Norway, a large part of the population is dependent on disability benefits. The main reasons for this are related to long-term musculoskeletal pain and psychological complaints. Prevocational rehabilitation, aimed at increasing participation in working life, targets people in need of a sheltered vocational environment. This group has been found to report a very high level of health complaints. Therefore, a better understanding of the psychological mechanisms affecting satisfaction with life for people who experience subjective health complaints could be important for tailoring more optimal vocational rehabilitation initiatives for these individuals. This study aimed to investigate the possible mediator role of basic psychological need satisfaction, described in self-determination theory, in the relationship between subjective health complaints and satisfaction with life.