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This study aimed to determine the effect of functional disability and quality of life (QoL) on the decision to have surgery in patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH).This is descriptive and cross-sectional survey. A total of 239 patients were included in the study. Data were collected using a personal information form, Surgical Belief and Attitudes Questionnaire (SBAQ), Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) and Short Form-36 (SF-36). The data analysis was undertaken using Mann–Whitney U test, χ2 test, and logistic regression model.Patients were found to have low mean scores in the SF-36 subscales and SBAQ and high mean scores in ODI, RMDQ, and VAS. Six weeks after the first interview, 48.1% of patients decided to undergo surgery. A statistically significant difference was found between a decision to have surgery and the ODI, RMDQ, VAS, SBAQ scores and 6 of the 8 SF-36 subscales (except for role physical and general health; p < .05). Patients who had higher functional disability, pain intensity, and SBAQ score and those with lower QoL were more likely to decide to undergo surgery.The results of the study showed that patients with LDH who have been referred for surgery experience high functional disability and pain and a poor QoL, and that these factors have an impact on their decision to have surgery process.