Consensus goals and standards for specialist cough clinics: the NEUROCOUGH international Delphi study

Woo-Jung Song, Lieven Dupont, Surinder S. Birring, Kian Fan Chung, Marta Dąbrowska, Peter Dicpinigaitis, Christian Domingo Ribas, Giovanni Fontana, Peter G Gibson, Laurent Guilleminault, James H. Hull, Marco Idzko, Peter Kardos, Hyun Jung Kim, Kefang Lai, Federico Lavorini, Eva Millqvist, Alyn H. Morice, Akio Niimi, Sean M. ParkerImran Satia, Jaclyn A. Smith, Jan Willem van den Berg, Lorcan P. McGarvey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Background Current guidelines on the management of chronic cough do not provide recommendations for the operation of specialist cough clinics. The objective of the present study was to develop expert consensus on goals and standard procedures for specialist cough clinics.

Methods We undertook a modified Delphi process, whereby initial statements proposed by experts were categorised and presented back to panellists over two ranking rounds using an 11-point Likert scale to identify consensus.

Results An international panel of 57 experts from 19 countries participated, with consensus reached on 15 out of 16 statements, covering the aims, roles and standard procedures of specialist cough clinics. Panellists agreed that specialist cough clinics offer optimal care for patients with chronic cough. They also agreed that history taking should enquire as to cough triggers, cough severity rating scales should be routinely used, and a minimum of chest radiography, spirometry and measurements of type 2 inflammatory markers should be undertaken in newly referred patients. The importance of specialist cough clinics in promoting clinical research and cough specialty training was acknowledged. Variability in healthcare resources and clinical needs between geographical regions was noted.

Conclusions The Delphi exercise provides a platform and guidance for both established cough clinics and those in planning stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00618
Number of pages13
JournalERJ Open Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2023


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