Dr Laurie Slovarp on the Importance of Early Behavioral Cough Therapy

Behavioral cough therapy should be used as early intervention, said Laurie Slovarp, PhD, CCC-SLP, associate professor in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences at University of Montana.

Behavioral cough therapy should be used as early intervention, said Laurie Slovarp, PhD, CCC-SLP, associate professor in the School of Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences at University of Montana.

Transcript

What is the benefit of using behavioral cough therapy in patients with chronic cough and using it early?

One of my passions is increasing awareness of this therapy, that it should be considered early. So most of these patients go through all kinds of tests and see several doctors before they come to see us. But my strong belief is that physicians should rule out anything serious, and there's ways to do that: chest X-ray and different tests. But once the serious things have been ruled out, if they have a dry cough, I think that they should try this therapy much, much sooner because it does improve their situation within a few weeks. And it takes longer than that, usually, to get in to see a specialist. And then the other thing is that, the data on patients that come to speech therapy are all patients that nothing else has really worked well for them, so they're already tricky patients. The data that we have shows that it is helpful. [It] doesn't mean the cough completely goes away, but it's helpful for 70 to 88% of patients, so the success rate is really quite high. In my own research, I did a huge survey study and over 50% said that they were quite satisfied that their cough was drastically improved after the therapy. So it's underutilized in my opinion, and it shouldn't be considered as a last resort, it should be considered more early intervention.