The purpose of this exploratory research was to describe current referral and practice patterns for behavioral cough suppression therapy (BCST) throughout the United States, and to assess the need for improving the efficiency of BCST referral patterns. In study I, 126 speech-language pathologists, who treat patients with refractory chronic cough (RCC) in the United States, completed a survey about referral patterns, cough duration, and patient frustration level. In study II, 36 adults with RCC referred for BCST completed a four-part survey about cough symptoms and treatment. The survey included the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ) before and after BCST. Study I revealed significant patient frustration about the treatment process and the wait-time for BCST. Participants in study II reported average cough duration of over 2 years before BCST. Twenty-seven of 31 participants in study II improved by at least 1.3 on the LCQ, indicating a clinically significant improvement in 87% of patients. This study suggests that the current management model for CC may be unduly time-consuming, and expensive for patients with CC who are successfully treated with BCST. Practitioners are encouraged to consider BCST earlier in the treatment process.
- Chronic cough
- Leicester Cough Questionnaire
- behavioral cough suppression therapy (BCST)
- cough hypersensitivity syndrome (CHS)
- refractory chronic cough
- speech-language pathology