Cough suppression assessed by embarrassment about coughing has been shown in adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) and negatively affects health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and clinical indicators of disease severity in adolescent females. However, whether cough suppression exists in adults has been studied as little as its effects on clinical and psychological outcomes beyond adolescence.
Seventy-one subjects completed the self-reported ‘Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised (CFQ-R + 14)’ and a self-report questionnaire about cough suppression, health-related perspectives, and therapy adherence. The status of CF disease was quantified in terms of the percentage of predicted forced expiratory volume in one second (ppFEV1), body mass index (BMI), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, pancreatic status, and CF-related diabetes (CFRD). Additional demographic data for sex, age, graduation, employment, and marital status were assessed.
CS exists in adult CF and is associated with impaired HRQoL but not the overall CF disease status regarding BMI, ppFEV1, or health-related perspectives. Despite a higher prevalence of cough suppression in women, no effect of sex regarding either outcome measure was observed.
The results of this study suggest that mental health indicators have an impact on cough suppression.