PURPOSE: To compare the impact of a library of pulmonary rehabilitation videotapes versus an older videotape and usual care on quality of life and ability to perform activities of daily living in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. METHODS: Two hundred fourteen patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis were recruited and randomized to receive customized videotapes, standard videotapes, or usual care. Outcome measures included the Fatigue Impact Scale, Seattle Obstructive Lung Disease Questionnaire, and the SF-36® Health Survey. RESULTS: Differences in coping skills and emotional functioning on the Seattle Obstructive Lung Disease Questionnaire were found among the 174 subjects who completed the study. The customized videotape group improved by 8.6 and 4.8 points, respectively, whereas the score of the other groups decreased by less than 1 point for the coping skills, and the scores of the standard video and the control groups decreased by 3.0 and 2.1 points, respectively, for emotional functioning (P < .05, all comparisons). The scores using the Fatigue Impact Scale also improved for the customized videotape group, whereas the scores of the others remained unchanged. Videotape users demonstrated better conversion to and retention of exercise habits, with over 80% of customized videotape subjects who reported exercise habits at baseline continuing the habits as compared with 40% in the usual care group. Sedentary subjects at baseline were more likely to begin and maintain exercise if randomized to videotapes. CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate increased quality of life, lower fatigue, and better compliance with a prescribed exercise regimen among subjects using the customized videotapes. There was a significant improvement in emotional functioning and coping skills among customized videotape subjects. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.