Can a management pathway for chronic cough in children improve clinical outcomes: protocol for a multicentre evaluation

Anne Chang, Colin F Robertson, Peter Van Asperen, Nicholas Glasgow, Ian Brent Masters, Craig M Mellis, Louis Landau, Laurel Teoh, Peter Morris

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background: Chronic cough is common and is associated with significant economic and human costs. While cough can be a problematic symptom without serious consequences, it could also reflect a
    serious underlying illness. Evidence shows that the management of chronic cough in children needs to be improved. Our study tests the hypothesis that the management of chronic cough in children with an evidence-based management pathway is feasible and reliable, and improves clinical
    outcomes.

    Methods/Design: We are conducting a multicentre randomised controlled trial based in respiratory clinics in 5 major Australian cities. Children (n = 250) fulfilling inclusion criteria (new patients with chronic cough) are randomised (allocation concealed) to the standardised clinical management pathway (specialist starts clinical pathway within 2 weeks) or usual care (existing care until review by specialist at 6 weeks). Cough diary, cough- specific quality of life (QOL) and generic QOL are collected at baseline and at 6,
    10, 14, 26, and 52 weeks. Children are followed-up for 6 months after diagnosis and cough resolution (with at least monthly contact from study nurses). A random sample from each site will be independently examined to determine adherence to the pathway. Primary outcomes are group
    differences in QOL and proportion of children that are cough free at week 6.

    Discussion: The clinical management pathway is based on data from Cochrane Reviews combined with collective clinical experience (250 doctor years). This study will provide additional evidence on the optimal management of chronic cough in children.

    Trial registration:
    ACTRN12607000526471.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number103
    Number of pages7
    JournalTrials
    Volume11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2010

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