Chronic cough: Behaviour modification therapies for chronic cough

A.E. Vertigan, D.G Theodoros, P.G. Gibson, Alison L. Winkworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic cough (CC) can be refractory to medical treatment and newer strategies are required for these patients. Behaviour modification therapies are a potential approach for management of cough that does not respond to medical management. Behaviour modification therapy for CC involves an individually tailored programme teaching individuals to increase control over cough symptoms and includes education, specific strategies to suppress the cough, vocal hygiene training and psychoeducational counselling. Several case series have described speech pathology treatment for CC and a recent randomized control trial has demonstrated a significant improvement in symptoms. Possible mechanisms for this improvement include reduced cough reflex sensitivity, increased voluntary control of the cough and reduced stimulation of cough receptors. Respiratory retraining used by physiotherapists may also have potential for use in CC. The validity of psychological therapeutic approaches to CC rests on concepts of CC as a disorder with a psychogenic component, and the ability of cognitive therapies to modify the cough pathway. This work outlines current literature into behavioural management of CC and suggests new directions for practice and research in adults with this condition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalChronic Respiratory Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


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