Clinical research
Chronic cough – assessment of treatment efficacy based on two questionnaires
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Submission date: 2013-06-02
Final revision date: 2013-10-15
Acceptance date: 2013-10-15
Online publication date: 2014-10-23
Publication date: 2014-10-31
Arch Med Sci 2014;10(5):962–969
Introduction: Efficacy of chronic cough treatment is ambiguous. The aim of the study was to analyze chronic cough alleviation after specific treatment and the relationship between cough etiology and treatment efficacy.
Material and methods: A stepwise diagnostic approach was used to diagnose cough etiology in non-smoking adults with chronic cough. In all patients specific treatment was applied. Two different questionnaires – a visual analog scale and a 5-degree scale – were used to assess cough severity before and after 4-6 months of treatment.
Results: A significant correlation between pre-treatment and post-treatment results of both questionnaires was found (Spearman coefficient 0.43, p = 0.0003 and 0.73, p < 0.0001, respectively). Baseline questionnaire analysis revealed no differences in cough severity between patients with different cough causes or multiple cough causes. Although specific treatment resulted in a significant decrease of cough severity in the entire group, only partial improvement was noted. According to the visual analogue scale, a decrease of cough severity by at least 50% was achieved only in 54.4% of patients (37/68). Similarly, satisfactory improvement was noted in only 54.4% (37/68) of patients when using the 5-point scale. There were three sub-groups of patients, in whom no relevant decrease of cough severity was observed despite treatment: patients with 1. three coexisting cough causes, 2. non-asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis, and 3. chronic idiopathic cough.
Conclusions: Cough severity does not depend on its etiology. Efficacy of chronic cough treatment in non-smoking patients is only moderate.