Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can have an accompanying depression that interferes with nursing management and reduces patients' quality of life. Nurses need to understand more about that depression, how depression can be manifested and measured in older adults, and how depression in those with COPD differs from that seen in other chronic diseases. Self-report questionnaires can be used to identify depression initially and determine the need for further assessment. The DSM III-R criteria is recommended for those who wish to use a clinical evaluation tool. Treatment for the depression seen in COPD can include pharmacologic therapy and life changes, as well as individual and family therapies.