Background: Cough is a prominent symptom across a range of common chronic respiratory diseases and impacts considerably on patient health status.
Methods: We undertook a cross-sectional comparison of scores from two cough-specific health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaires, the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ), and the Cough Quality of Life Questionnaire (CQLQ), together with a generic HRQoL measure, the EuroQol. Questionnaires were administered to and spirometry performed on 147 outpatients with chronic cough (n = 83), COPD (n = 18), asthma (n = 20), and bronchiectasis (n = 26).
Results: There was no significant difference in the LCQ and CQLQ total scores between groups (p = 0.24 and p = 0.26, respectively). Exploratory analyses of questionnaire subdomains revealed differences in psychosocial issues and functional impairment between the four groups (p = 0.01 and p = 0.05, respectively). CQLQ scores indicated that chronic coughers have more psychosocial issues than patients with bronchiectasis (p = 0.03) but less functional impairment than COPD patients (p = 0.04). There was a significant difference in generic health status across the four disease groups (p = 0.04), with poorest health status in COPD patients. A significant inverse correlation was observed between CQLQ and LCQ in each disease group (chronic cough r = − 0.56, p < 0.001; COPD r = − 0.49, p = 0.04; asthma r = − 0.94, p < 0.001; and bronchiectasis r = − 0.88, p < 0.001). There was no correlation between cough questionnaire scores and FEV1 in any group, although a significant correlation between EuroQol visual analog scale component and FEV1 (r = 0.639, p = 0.004) was observed in COPD patients.
Conclusion: Cough adversely affects health status across a range of common respiratory diseases. The LCQ and CQLQ can each provide important additional information concerning the impact of cough.