New statement sets standards for development of chronic cough clinics

A summary of a new statement published in the ERJ Open Research

Procedures and standards for establishing specialist chronic cough clinics have been outlined in a new article, published in ERJ Open Research.

Chronic cough, which is defined as a cough that lasts longer than 8 weeks, is a common problem and currently there are no specific treatments. The statement has been produced as part of the NEUROCOUGH Clinical Research Consortium; a pan-European network that aims to improve the management of chronic cough.

What does the statement provide?

Many people report difficulty in accessing specialists who can help with the treatment of chronic cough. One solution to this is setting up specialist clinics that can help improve access to experts with more in-depth understanding of the field. The statement sets out procedures and standards that could guide the development of these new clinics.

The procedures are developed from responses to an online survey of international cough experts. They were asked a series of questions about chronic cough clinics and what they should include.

What does the statement recommend?

15 recommendations were agreed on by the group of experts. These included:

  • Specialist cough clinics should aim to improve patient outcomes, optimise treatments, reduce burden of disease, and advance research.
  • Specialist cough clinics should provide evaluation and management of chronic cough patients guided by national and/or international consensus.
  • More specialist cough clinics should be established, particularly in hospitals.
  • Cough triggers and cough complications should be a part of routine history taking, preferably by means of validated measurement tools.

To read the full list of recommendations, you can read the original research paper: Consensus goals and standards for specialist cough clinics: the NEUROCOUGH international Delphi study.

Why is this important?

Specialist cough clinics play a key role in improving the path to diagnosis of chronic cough and the swift treatment of the condition once diagnosed. Setting standards for these clinics is an important part of ensuring quality of care for people living with the condition.

Find out more about the NEUROCOUGH project and what they are hoping to achieve.