We have examined the role of the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire in practice. The questionnaire covers aspects of disability in patients with chronic lung disease in terms of dyspnoea, fatigue, emotional function and mastery. It therefore provides a measure of physical disability and quality of life in patients with lung disease. The questionnaire was validated in olderpatients with chronic obstructive lung disease and is particularly responsive to changes within an individual. Its major disadvantages include the lack of sensitivity in patients with minor symptoms or possibly those in a younger age group and that it is also not possible to make comparisons between populations with the CRQ. It is, however, particularly good at demonstrating changes in disability in older patients with chronic airways disease.