PSYCHOGENIC COUGH TREATED WITH BIOFEEDBACK AND PSYCHOTHERAPY: A Review and Case Report

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Psychogenic cough is a barking or honking cough, which is persistent and disruptive to normal activity. The cough may be a debilitating condition that interferes with work and social relationships. Although the frequency of this condition is low, it is not rare. The majority of cases reported involve pediatric or adolescent patients. Surprisingly, there are scant data describing this condition in the adult population and no reports of biofeedback being used to treat this syndrome. We present a case report of an adult patient with psychogenic cough and review the available pediatric and adult literature. A 41-yr-old obese female presented with a complex 7-yr history of intractable, nonproductive, chronic cough. She had been avoiding social activities because of embarrassment by her repeated episodes of coughing. Extensive diagnostic work-up failed to find an organic etiology. Numerous medical and surgical treatments had failed. The patient was treated with a combination of biofeedback-assisted relaxation training, psychotherapy, and physical therapy. Review of the literature revealed only one report on adults, in which three of four patients were successfully treated with a combination of speech therapy, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and psychotherapy. Our success suggests a possible future use of this treatment protocol for cases of psychogenic cough.

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