Canadian Respiratory Journal

Canadian Respiratory Journal / 2009 / Article

Original Article | Open Access

Volume 16 |Article ID 263054 | 6 pages | https://doi.org/10.1155/2009/263054

Assessment and Management of Patients with Chronic Cough by Certified Respiratory Educators: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The value of other health care professionals is increasingly being recognized to compensate for the shortage of physicians in Canada. Chronic cough is one of the most common reasons for consultation with a respirologist. In the present study, a prospective, randomized, controlled study was undertaken to determine whether Certified Respiratory Educators (CREs) could manage screened patients with chronic cough as effectively as respirologists.METHODS: An eight-week, prospective, parallel-design, randomized, controlled trial of the management of chronic cough patients was conducted. Patients were screened to exclude those with potentially life-threatening conditions. The primary outcome was the number of patients whose cough resolved or subjectively improved.RESULTS: A total of 198 patients were randomly assigned, and eight-week data were available on 151 patients. Mean age of the patients was 49.8±13.4 years, 70.2% were female and median cough duration was 16 months. The screening process was effective and referral wait times decreased from a median of two months to less than four weeks (P<0.0001). The educators averaged 4.9 contacts per patient compared with 2.7 by the physicians over the eight-week study period (P<0.0001). Most patients had had multiple therapeutic trials before referral. Cough resolved or improved in two-thirds of the patients at eight weeks; however, more patients showed improvement in the educator arm than in the physician arm, P<0.02. Cough-specific quality of life improved similarly in the two study arms at eight weeks (physician arm: 61.5±14.1 to 52.6±14.4, P<0.0001; CRE arm: 58.1±14.9 to 50.0±15.8, P=0.0003).CONCLUSIONS: CREs can safely and effectively assess, as well as appropriately treat, screened patients with chronic cough with a resultant reduction in wait times.

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


More related articles

215 Views | 194 Downloads | 8 Citations
 PDF  Download Citation  Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly and safely as possible. Any author submitting a COVID-19 paper should notify us at help@hindawi.com to ensure their research is fast-tracked and made available on a preprint server as soon as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted articles related to COVID-19. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.