Health status measurement is a common feature of studies in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This review assesses recent evidence for the validity of these measurements and their role as measures of the overall impact of the disease on the patient's daily life and wellbeing. It reviews the mostly widely used COPD specific questionnaires and examines the contribution that they make to an assessment of the overall effect of treatment. Finally, it addresses the question of how symptomatic benefit may be assessed in individual patients in routine practice.
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