There is limited information about the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in patients with bronchiectasis. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an out-patient PR program in patients with a primary diagnosis of bronchiectasis and to compare them with a matched COPD group who completed the same PR program. A retrospective review was conducted of patients with bronchiectasis or COPD who completed 6 to 8 weeks of PR at two tertiary institutions. The outcome measures were the 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) and Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRQ). Ninety-five patients with bronchiectasis completed the PR (48 male; FEV(1) 63  % predicted; age 67  years). Significant improvements in 6MWD (mean change 53.4 m, 95% CI 45.0 to 61.7) and CRQ total score (mean change 14.0 units, 95% CI 11.3 to 16.7) were observed immediately following PR. In patients with complete follow-up (n = 37), these improvements remained significantly higher than baseline at 12 months (20.5 m, 95% CI 1.4 to 39.5 for 6MWD; 12.1 points, 95% CI 5.7 to 18.4 for CRQ total score). The time trend and changes in the 6MWD and CRQ scores were not significantly different between the bronchiectasis and the COPD groups (all p > 0.05). This study supports the inclusion of patients with bronchiectasis in existing PR programs. Further prospective RCTs are warranted to substantiate these findings.