Canadian Health Care Professionals’ Familiarity with Chronic Cough Guidelines and Experiences with Diagnosis and Management: A Cross-Sectional Survey Journal Articles uri icon

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  • INTRODUCTION: Educational programs on chronic cough may improve patient care, but little is known about how Canadian physicians manage this common debilitating condition. We aimed to investigate Canadian physicians' perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge of chronic cough. METHODS: We administered a 10-min anonymous, online, cross-sectional survey to 3321 Canadian physicians in the Leger Opinion Panel who managed adult patients with chronic cough and had been in practice for > 2 years. RESULTS: Between July 30 and September 22, 2021, 179 physicians (101 general practitioners [GPs] and 78 specialists [25 allergists, 28 respirologists, and 25 ear/nose/throat specialists]) completed the survey (response rate: 5.4%). In a month, GPs saw a mean of 27 patients with chronic cough, whereas specialists saw 46. About one-third of physicians appropriately identified a duration of > 8 weeks as the definition for chronic cough. Many physicians reported not using international chronic cough management guidelines. Patient referrals and care pathways varied considerably, and patients frequently experienced lost to follow-up. While physicians endorsed nasal and inhaled corticosteroids as common treatments for chronic cough, they rarely used other guideline-recommended treatments. Both GPs and specialists expressed high interest in education on chronic cough. CONCLUSION: This survey of Canadian physicians demonstrates low uptake of recent advances in chronic cough diagnosis, disease categorization, and pharmacologic management. Canadian physicians also report unfamiliarity with guideline-recommended therapies, including centrally acting neuromodulators for refractory or unexplained chronic cough. This data highlights the need for educational programs and collaborative care models on chronic cough in primary and specialist care.


  • Kum, Elena
  • Brister, Danica
  • Diab, Nermin
  • Wahab, Mustafaa
  • Abraham, Ted
  • Sahakian, Sevag
  • Qureshy, Kaiser
  • Hernandez, Paul
  • Kim, Harold
  • Cormier, Maxime
  • Lin, Peter
  • Ellis, Anne
  • Boulet, Louis-Philippe
  • Kaplan, Alan
  • Field, Stephen K
  • Satia, Imran

publication date

  • February 2023

published in