Evaluation and impact of chronic cough: comparison of specific vs generic quality-of-life questionnaires

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005 May;94(5):581-5. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)61137-4.


Background: Chronic cough is a common condition that has a significant impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Objective: To investigate whether chronic cough is associated with adverse psychological and physical effects on quality of life (QoL) using different HRQoL questionnaires.

Methods: Forty patients were recruited for the study. The diagnostic workup was mainly based on the pathogenic triad in chronic cough: postnasal drip syndrome, asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The HRQoL was evaluated with the cough-specific quality-of-life questionnaire (CQLQ), Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ), Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results: Symptom scores were significantly correlated with the CQLQ and LCQ (beta = .415 and beta = -.272, respectively) but not with the SF-36. A statistically significant difference was found in all questionnaires, except the physical component summary domain of the SF-36, after specific therapy. Correlation between the 2 specific HRQoL questionnaires was moderate to high when pretreatment and posttreatment scores were compared (r = -0.42 and r = -0.60). Concurrent validity of the LCQ was higher than the CQLQ when compared with the SF-36 domains. The effect size of each specific QoL questionnaire was 1 or higher after treatment, whereas it was much less in the SF-36. There was no change in depression with treatment despite anxiety. Posttreatment symptom scores were related with anxiety (r > 0.40)

Conclusions: Because HRQoL is important to patients, a cough-specific HRQoL instrument, either the CQLQ or LCQ, should be routinely used to optimally evaluate the impact of cough on patients and to evaluate the efficacy of cough-modifying agents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitussive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / drug therapy*
  • Cough / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Turkey


  • Antitussive Agents