It has recently been demonstrated that a continuum of self-management (SM) for COPD patients provided by a trained health professional significantly reduce the utilisation of health care services (Bourbeau et al Arch Intern Med March 2003). The objective of the present study was to assess in COPD patients who received a self-management program of the beneficial effect of reduce hospitalisation could be maintained at long term. A multicentre, randomised clinical trial was carried out in 191 COPD patients from 7 hospitals. Patients who all had one hospitalisation in the year preceding study enrolment were assigned to a self-management program or to usual care. The self-management program "Living Well with COPD(c)" consisted of a multi-component patient education program administered through weekly visits by trained health professionals over a 2 months period with monthly telephone follow-up for 12 months. All cause hospitalisations, the main outcome, were marked using the provincial hospital database (MED-ECHO).