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Non-pharmacological interventions for chronic cough: The past, present and future

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

S. A.F. Chamberlain Mitchell, J. Ellis, S. Ludlow, A. Pandyan, S. S. Birring

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalPulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

King's Authors


Non-pharmacological interventions have been explored in people with refractory chronic cough. Normally delivered by Physiotherapists and or Speech and Language Therapists, these interventions aim to educate patients about their cough, provide them with cough suppression techniques and breathing exercises, improve vocal/laryngeal hydration and psychoeducational counselling to help them gain greater control of their cough. Six key studies have been completed over the past 12 years that have consistently found non-pharmacological interventions help to improve quality of life and reduce cough frequency. Some studies also found improvements in cough reflex sensitivity and severity. Despite promising results there now needs to be further work to optimise these interventions. There is a need to standardise terminology used such as relabelling the intervention as cough control therapy and move away from uni-disciplinary terms. Standardised patient selection, including screening protocols, optimal timing and delivery of the interventions as well as the outcome measures used to evaluate interventions need further exploration.

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