There is no disease-specific instrument available for health status assessment in bronchiectasis. We examined the stability, validity and responsiveness of a measure designed for asthma and COPD, the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), in this condition. One hundred and eleven patients were studied on 2 separate d 6 mo apart. On both days each patient completed the SGRQ and measures of general and disease-specific health, mood, and fatigue. They also performed a shuttle walking test and comprehensive lung function tests. Repeatability was tested over 2 wk in 23 patients. The intraclass correlation (ri) for the SGRQ Total score was 0.97. The SGRQ component scores correlated well with relevant markers of disease activity. Examples include: SGRQ Symptoms score versus MRC Wheeze score, r = 0.634, p < 0.0001; Activity score versus shuttle walking test, r = -0.659, p < 0.0001; and impacts score versus physical fatigue, r = 0.610, p < 0.0001. Changes in the SGRQ Total score from entry to follow-up also correlated with changes in other measures of the patients' health. There were significant differences in the SGRQ total score between patients who improved and those who deteriorated over the 6 mo in respect to wheeze (F = 5.6, p < 0.01) and breathlessness (F = 6.05, p < 0.01). We conclude that the SGRQ reflects impaired health in bronchiectasis patients.