There is little published information on the measurement of health status or quality of life in acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. The measure yourself medical outcome profile (MYMOP), the medical outcomes study 6-item general health survey (MOS-6A), and EuroQoL (EQ-5D) were evaluated in 81 patients with acute exacerbations of Type-1 chronic bronchitis presenting at a single general practice centre in Glasgow. The questionnaires were administered at the first clinic visit and at a second visit within 1 week of treatment completion. Item scores for MYMOP were generally more responsive than those for the other instruments, as assessed by standardised response means and an index of responsiveness for those patients reporting minimal change between visits. Construct validity was demonstrated for the MYMOP by the gradient in score change with the patient's perceived change in clinical condition and by the relationship between score change and the physician's assessment of clinical outcome. This study demonstrated that the MYMOP is a valid and potentially useful instrument for the assessment of patient outcomes in acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis and is more responsive than the MOS-6A or EQ-5D in this setting. The choice of instrument will vary according to the objective of the study.