Disease-specific education programs have become an important factor in the treatment and care of chronic conditions, such as heart failure and diabetes mellitus. However, the effectiveness of these educational methods on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains unclear. The objective of this meta-analysis was to evaluate whether disease-specific education programs were beneficial to health-related quality of life (HRQoL) variables and other long-term health outcomes in patients with COPD. Using electronic databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, Science Direct, Chinese Biomedical Data System, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Wanfang Database) and individual searches (published and unpublished Chinese studies), we identified 12 randomized controlled trials (RCTs; English and/or Chinese) from 1991 to 2011. A meta-analysis on these studies revealed a positive relationship between disease-specific education programs and HRQoL scores (as measured by the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire). Moreover, educational programs were associated with increased knowledge about COPD, improved disease management skills, inhaler adherence, and decreased COPD-related emergency department visits and hospital admissions, as well as long-term effects on improving COPD patients' health outcomes. Although significant effects were not detected across all HRQoL variables and health measures, our findings suggest that education programs have the potential to be a valuable intervention for COPD patients. Our results provide a foundation for future research in this area, which we recommend as including more rigorously designed, large, randomized studies.