Somatic cough syndrome (previously referred to as psychogenic cough) and tic cough (previously referred to as habit cough) in adults and children: CHEST guideline and expert panel report

Anne E. Vertigan, Mohammad H. Murad, Tamara Pringsheim, Anthony Feinstein, Anne B. Chang, Peter A. Newcombe, Bruce K. Rubin, Lorcan P. McGarvey, Kelly Weir, Kenneth W. Altman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Background: We conducted a systematic review on the management of psychogenic cough, habit cough, and tic cough to update the recommendations and suggestions of the 2006 guideline on this topic. 

    Methods: We followed the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) methodologic guidelines and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation framework. The Expert Cough Panel based their recommendations on data from the systematic review, patients' values and preferences, and the clinical context. Final grading was reached by consensus according to Delphi methodology. 

    Results: The results of the systematic review revealed only low-quality evidence to support how to define or diagnose psychogenic or habit cough with no validated diagnostic criteria. With respect to treatment, low-quality evidence allowed the committee to only suggest therapy for children believed to have psychogenic cough. Such therapy might consist of nonpharmacologic trials of hypnosis or suggestion therapy, or combinations of reassurance, counseling, and referral to a psychologist, psychotherapy, and appropriate psychotropic medications. Based on multiple resources and contemporary psychologic, psychiatric, and neurologic criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition and tic disorder guidelines), the committee suggests that the terms psychogenic and habit cough are out of date and inaccurate. 

    Conclusions: Compared with the 2006 CHEST Cough Guidelines, the major change in suggestions is that the terms psychogenic and habit cough be abandoned in favor of somatic cough syndrome and tic cough, respectively, even though the evidence to do so at this time is of low quality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-31
    Number of pages8
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


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