35 Citations (Scopus)


The accurate and consistent assessment of cough is essential not only for optimum standards of clinical care but also to drive forward advances in our understanding of cough. A range of tools for the subjective and objective measurement of cough exists, and their ongoing development has coincided with growth in clinical and preclinical research in cough, resulting in novel findings and promising new treatments. The most widely used and most fruitful approaches to assessing cough are discussed, along with some newer and preliminary techniques and directions for the future. These include methods for measuring cough-specific quality of life, subjective severity, cough frequency, intensity, and sensitivity of the underlying cough reflex. Ongoing development and more widespread adoption of cough assessment tools should help describe the heterogeneity of cough phenotypes, and may better guide treatment by enabling prediction of responses to pharmacological and nonpharmacological antitussive therapies. More detailed assessments of cough may also bring benefits in measuring the transmission of respiratory infections, or in managing reduced airway protection in neuromuscular disease. Population-wide assessments should also help understand the epidemiology of cough and assist in screening for disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1715-1723
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Cough
  • Cough frequency
  • Cough reflex sensitivity
  • Quality of life


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