Introduction: Chronic cough, one of the most frequent causes for a patient to consult a medical practitioner, limits the course of normal activities in everyday life of the patient affected (work, physical activities, social relations, night sleep). By now, there are few validated questionnaires for the evaluation of the impact of this symptom in the patient's quality of life (QoL). For this reason, we created a new questionnaire for the assessment of QoL in patients affected by chronic cough (Chronic Cough Impact Questionnaire, CCIQ).
Materials and methods: In the development procedure of CCIQ an initial questionnaire of 40 items was compiled and given to a first pool of 170 patients, each coming to our attention because of chronic cough; then the 25 most significant items were detected and converted into questions evaluating the answers on a Likert scale of five steps. Consequently, this final questionnaire underwent a validation procedure to assess its construct validity, internal consistency, reliability, and responsiveness. 95 patients (44.2% F, 55.8% M) were evaluated (age 53.69 +/- 11.7 years).
Results: Following a statistical analysis, CCIQ showed a four-dimensional structure and good levels of internal consistency for the extracted factors: sleep/concentration (79.98), relationship (86.98), daily life impact (69.04), and mood (65.41). In stable conditions CCIQ showed a good reliability, ranged between 0.67 and 0.88. Responsiveness to clinical changes was accomplished.
Discussion: These results provide evidence that CCIQ has specificity enough for being a valid tool for detecting the relative burden of cough on subjective well-being, and for obtaining a global evaluation both of chronic cough impact and of treatments for it, taking into account the patient's point of view. The CCIQ was easily and quickly filled in by the patients while waiting, and it was accepted by the patients.