In the Netherlands, domiciliary oxygen therapy is regularly prescribed incorrectly and thus inefficiently, and the policies surrounding this therapy are inconsistent. This applies particularly to patients with chronic hypoxaemia due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In order to establish a scientific basis for a uniform prescription policy, guidelines have been developed under the auspices of the Dutch Thoracic Society with the support of the Dutch Institute for Health Care Improvement. Based on scientific research, recommendations have been formulated for the indications and aims of domiciliary oxygen therapy and long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT). The most important recommendations (summarised on the back of an oxygen application form) are: domiciliary oxygen therapy is only indicated for severe hypoxaemia by day at rest; if domiciliary oxygen therapy was prescribed following recovery from an acute exacerbation or hospitalisation, the arterial oxygen tension should be rechecked within three months of starting oxygen therapy; prescription of LTOT is only justified in case of an optimal (non-)medical regimen, clinical stability, and chronic hypoxaemia, and providing a number of preconditions, such as smoking cessation (partly due to the fire hazard), have been met; LTOT is a lifelong therapy that should be prescribed for at least 15, and preferably 24, hours per day, and the oxygen flow rate settings for rest, exertion and sleep should be adjusted to meet the patient's needs; for ambulatory patients, the prescribing physician should consider the portability of the oxygen equipment; as patient education and supervision are essential to secure the success of LTOT, the prescribing physician should cooperate with the general practitioner, the district nurse and the oxygen supplier in this respect.