This cross-sectional study focuses on the status of COPD-related fears and impairments of adult patients receiving ambulant care as well as their use of self-management strategies. On the basis of the COPD Clinical Questionnaire, COPD Disability Index, COPD Assessment Test and the COPD Anxiety Questionnaire, COPD-dependent fears and impairments were determined in a convenience sample. Furthermore, data on important characteristics of the illness experience were gathered by semi-standardised interviews. Altogether, 80 patients (average age: 67.1±8.5 years) took part in the quantitative interviews. In addition, 10 patients (average age: 68.2±4.1 years) took part in qualitative interviews. Results showed that there were disease-related impairments in the areas of respiration, recovery and physical stress as well as in family and domestic obligations. Furthermore, illness-dependent fears had a high relevance in the study population. The management of COPD-related fears and –disabilities, as well as taking into consideration information and counselling needs (symptom und drug management, use of resource, health system and coping) of these patients are important intervention approaches. The presented results underline the need for planning evidence-based, multi-disciplinary, and disease-, situation- and above all, patient’ needs-related interventions to support patients in self-management skills and patient's autonomy.