Last updated March 15, 2022

Classification of Cough as a Symptom in Adults and Management Algorithms

Suggestions

For adult patients complaining of cough, we suggest that acute cough be defined as being <3 weeks in duration. (2, C)
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For adult patients complaining of cough, we suggest that subacute cough be defined as being between 3 and 8 weeks in duration. (2, C)
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For adult patients complaining of cough, we suggest that chronic cough be defined as being >8 weeks in duration. (2, C)
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For adult patients seeking medical care complaining of cough, we suggest that estimating the duration of cough is the first step in narrowing the list of potential diagnoses. (2, C)
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For adult patients around the globe complaining of cough, we suggest that the cough be managed using evidence-based guidelines that are based upon duration of cough. (2, C)
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Recommendation Grading

Overview

Title

Classification of Cough as a Symptom in Adults and Management Algorithms

Authoring Organization

Publication Month/Year

January 1, 2018

Document Type

Guideline

External Publication Status

Published

Country of Publication

US

Document Objectives

We performed systematic reviews using the population, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) format to answer the following key clinical question: Are the CHEST 2006 classifications of acute, subacute and chronic cough and associated management algorithms in adults that were based on durations of cough useful?

Target Patient Population

Patients with acute/chronic cough

Inclusion Criteria

Female, Male, Adolescent, Adult, Older adult

Health Care Settings

Ambulatory, Home health, Long term care, Outpatient

Intended Users

Nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant

Scope

Assessment and screening, Diagnosis

Diseases/Conditions (MeSH)

D003371 - Cough, D003933 - Diagnosis, D000465 - Algorithms

Keywords

cough, acute cough, chronic cough