Chronic cough: a natural (and parental) disaster


  • Lorenzo Moja

    Corresponding author
    1. Italian Cochrane Centre, Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy
    • Italian Cochrane Centre, Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy.
    Search for more papers by this author


These are the answers to the Dr Cochrane vignette on pages 1552–1554. How did you get on? Register your score at Copyright © 2010 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The Cochrane Collaboration

Question 1

  • 2.In the medical literature, cough is often defined as chronic after persistence for about four weeks.
  • 3.In non-specific cough, secretions are very limited or non-existent. This cough is classified as ‘dry’.
  • 5.Asthma and non-specific cough are rarely related.

Question 2

  • 2.RR describes the probability of the event in the treatment group compared to the probability in the control group and is interpreted as statistically significant if the 95% CI does not cross one.

Question 3

  • 1.Children receiving antibiotics were significantly less likely to require additional medical treatment (RR:0.15; 95% CI 0.05, 0.49).
  • 4.For every three children treated with antibiotics, one child was cured (95% CI 2.00, 4.00).
  • 5.Children taking antibiotics were significantly more likely than those given placebo to be cured or substantially improved at follow-up (RR 2.42; 95% CI 1.65 to 3.53).

Question 4

  • 5.Very high-dose inhaled corticosteroids are effective but not recommended.

Question 5

  • 4.There was no significant decrease in the frequency of cough (MD − 27.00; 95% CI − 83.07 to 29.07).

Question 6

  • 2.The dose used in the studies included was very high: up to 2 mg/day.
  • 3.High-dose inhaled corticosteroids benefit patients in a time span of two weeks.
  • 4.Very high-dose inhaled corticosteroids may expose children to the risk of adrenal insufficiency.