Aim: This paper is a report of a qualitative study conducted as part of a randomized controlled trial comparing a lay-facilitated angina management programme with usual care. Its aim was to explore participants' beliefs, experiences, and attitudes to the care they had received during the trial, particularly those who had received the angina management intervention. Background: Angina affects over 50 million people worldwide. Over half of these people have symptoms that restrict their daily life and would benefit from knowing how to manage their condition. Design: A nested qualitative study within a randomized controlled trial of lay-facilitated angina management. Method: We conducted four participant focus groups during 2008; three were with people randomized to the intervention and one with those randomized to control. We recruited a total of 14 participants to the focus groups, 10 intervention, and 4 control. Findings: Although recruitment to the focus groups was relatively low by comparison to conventional standards, each generated lively discussions and a rich data set. Data analysis demonstrated both similarities and differences between control and intervention groups. Similarities included low levels of prior knowledge about angina, whereas differences included a perception among intervention participants that lifestyle changes were more easily facilitated with the help and support of a lay-worker. Conclusion: Lay facilitation with the Angina Plan is perceived by the participants to be beneficial in supporting self-management. However, clinical expertise is still required to meet the more complex information and care needs of people with stable angina. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.