A considerable amount of literature has described the prevalence of anxiety in patients with the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Few, if any, papers have reviewed the interrelationship between anxiety symptoms and self-management interventions in this population. This is the aim of the current review. First, the review examines the evidence suggesting that anxiety is more common in COPD than other populations. Secondly, the focus shifts to evaluating the evidence for and against the efficacy of COPD self-management programmes. Finally this paper examines the relationship between anxiety and COPD self-management with particular reference to the benefits and possible harm of some COPD self-management goals and anxious patients.