Psychological profile of individuals presenting with chronic cough

Katrin Hulme, Vincent Deary, Sian Dogan, Sean Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Chronic refractory cough (CRC) is a common problem in respiratory clinics. Adverse effects on quality of life are documented in the literature, but relatively little is known about the underlying psychological factors in this patient population. We aimed to investigate the association of psychological factors with chronic cough, comparing CRC to explained cough and non-cough groups. 67 patients attending a specialist cough clinic (CRC, n=25; explained cough, n=42) and 22 non-cough individuals participated. All participants completed the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale, Big Five Inventory (Personality), Chalder Fatigue Scale and Patient Health Questionnaire-15. Cough patients also completed the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised. Appropriate statistical analyses were used to compare participant groups. Chronic refractory coughers displayed significantly higher levels of anxiety, depression, fatigue and somatic physical symptoms than non-cough participants. Compared to explained coughers, there were higher depression and fatigue scores and significantly more negative illness representations (specifically, strong beliefs regarding negative consequences, lower illness coherence and higher emotional representations). “Explained” coughers reported significantly increased fatigue and somatic symptoms in comparison to non-coughers. The prevalence of fatigue, low mood, negative illness beliefs and increased physical symptom reporting should be considered in consultations and in developing novel interventions for CRC patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)00099
JournalERJ Open Research
Issue number1
Early online date20 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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