, Volume 193, Issue 3, pp 401–408 | Cite as

The Impact of Chronic Cough: A Cross-Sectional European Survey

  • Sarah A. F. Chamberlain
  • Rachel Garrod
  • Abdel Douiri
  • Sarah Masefield
  • Pippa Powell
  • Catherine Bücher
  • Anand Pandyan
  • Alyn H. Morice
  • Surinder S. BirringEmail author



Studies that investigate the impact of chronic cough have largely focused on patients attending secondary care. Our aim was to investigate the opinions of the wider general population across Europe.


An internet survey was made available in 12 languages on the European Lung Foundation website, between January 2012 and April 2013.


Of 1120 respondents from 29 different European countries, 67 % were female, mean age 51 years (SD 15), median cough duration 2–5 years. The majority of respondents reported cough impacted their quality of life, mood and ability to undertake activities. Despite 72 % of respondents having visited their doctor ≥3 times, only 53 % had received a diagnosis. Asthma was the most common diagnosis (23 %). Most respondents reported limited or no effectiveness of medications. 88 % of respondents reported that they would like more information to be available on chronic cough.


Chronic cough has a negative impact on quality of life. Further work is needed to raise awareness, promote management strategies, develop effective treatments and consider the educational and support needs of patients with chronic cough.


Chronic cough Antitussive therapy Survey Quality of life Management 



We would like to thank our colleagues at the ERS Chronic Cough Taskforce for their valuable feedback during the development of the survey, ERS Chronic Taskforce members: Maria Belvisi, Kristina Bieksiene, Kian Fan Chung, Peter Dicpingaitis, Robert W. Dal Negro, Ahmad Kantar, Lorcan P. McGarvey, Eva Millqvist, Raimundas Sakalauskas, Jaclyn A. Smith. We also would like to thank all the respondents to the survey.

Conflict of interest

Authors Chamberlain, Garrod, Douiri, Bücher, Masefield, Powell, Birring declare that they have no conflict of interest. Author Pandyan has received research grants from the National Institute of Health Research and Pneumacare, he also received educational support from Allergan Limited, Biometrics Limited and GlaxoSmithKline. Author AM has received research grants from Boehringer Ingelheim, Cheisi Pharma, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Orion Pharma UK, Procter & Gamble Health Sciences, Pfizer, Pharmaxis, Profile Pharma, MPEX Pharmaceuticals, PPD Development, Almirall, Seekacure, Philips Home Healthcare Solutions, Glenmark, Harrison Clinical Research, Janssen, Gilead, Bayer, Astrazeneca, Genentech, Bionoria, PRA International, GlaxoSmithKline, Allianz Global, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, Cardiff Chest Federation, British Pharmacological Society, Italian Society of Respiratory Medicine, Drug Information Association, SRxA USA, Association of Inhalation Toxicologists, Ardmore Healthcare Limited, Actelion, Hellenic Society of Respiratory and Occupational Chest Diseases, Primary Care respiratory Society UK, TREAT Education USA, National Health and Lung Institute.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 10 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 252 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (PDF 245 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (PDF 244 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah A. F. Chamberlain
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rachel Garrod
    • 3
  • Abdel Douiri
    • 4
    • 5
  • Sarah Masefield
    • 6
  • Pippa Powell
    • 6
  • Catherine Bücher
    • 2
    • 7
  • Anand Pandyan
    • 2
    • 7
  • Alyn H. Morice
    • 8
  • Surinder S. Birring
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung BiologyKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.School of Health and RehabilitationKeele UniversityKeeleUK
  3. 3.King’s College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of Primary Care and Public Health SciencesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.NIHR Biomedical CentreKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  6. 6.European Lung FoundationSheffieldUK
  7. 7.Institute for Science and Technology in MedicineKeele UniversityKeeleUK
  8. 8.Hull York Medical School, Castle Hill HospitalCottinghamUK

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