Psychogenic cough

Paul Allen Greenberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Psychogenic cough or “habit cough” is a nonorganic cough that typically occurs in children or adolescents (1-7) but has been reported in adults (4,8,9). It is thought that there may not be underlying psychopathology although children may have school phobia or use the cough for attention getting (3,5,10). The cough may increase in intensity or frequency in the presence of medical personnel and be nonexistent during sleep or distrac tion. Most reports of psychogenic cough note that the subjects are not particularly troubled by the repetitive coughing in the setting of frustration on the part of teachers or parents. Some adults may be depressed, however (9). Antitussives and antiasthma medications including courses of prednisone are ineffective in suppressing the cough. The workup for common causes of cough such as postnasal drip from rhinitis, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux, and asthma will be normal or there will be a limited to absent response to pharmacotherapy. There may be a poor effort on inspiration during spirometry such that the flow-volume tracing will be consistent with extrathoracic obstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAcute and Chronic Cough
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780849351709
ISBN (Print)0824759583, 9780824759582
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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