Background: The main treatment in COPD consists of bronchodilator agents. As the severity of disease increases, combined bronchodilators are preferred in place of single agents. Since there is a weak correlation between well being and spirometric parameters, additional life quality questionnaires are used. Objectives: The main aim of this study was to investigate whether different bronchodilator combinations have similar effects on quality of life measures in COPD. Methods: Sixty male patients with COPD were randomized into three groups. After a two-week run-in period, life quality scores were determined using the Turkish version of St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Group I was given ipratropium + theophylline (IP + THEO); Group 2 formoterol + theophylline (FOR + THEO) and Group 3 ipratropium + formoterol (IP + FOR). After a 12-week treatment period, symptom, activity and impact scores were again determined. Results: When compared with baseline, all component scores and total scores improved significantly (A total score: 16, 15 and 17 units in Groups I, II, and III, respectively), but there was no significant change between groups (p > 0.05). Conclusions: According to these results, combined bronchodilator treatments have a significant effect on life quality in COPD, but the effects were observed to be similar between the three different combinations tested. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.