Accuracy of cough reporting by carers of Indigenous children

Morey, Matthew J., Cheng, Allen C., McCallum, Gabrielle B. and Chang, Anne B. (2013) Accuracy of cough reporting by carers of Indigenous children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49 3: E199-E203. doi:10.1111/jpc.12118

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Author Morey, Matthew J.
Cheng, Allen C.
McCallum, Gabrielle B.
Chang, Anne B.
Title Accuracy of cough reporting by carers of Indigenous children
Journal name Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1034-4810
Publication date 2013-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jpc.12118
Open Access Status
Volume 49
Issue 3
Start page E199
End page E203
Total pages 5
Place of publication West Sussex, England, U.K.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Keyword cough
indigenous health
public health
respiratory disease
Suppurative Lung-Disease
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Aims The study aims to determine the reliability of a 24-h history of reported cough presence and quality (wet/dry) compared with objectively recorded cough, and evaluate factors that may influence cough reporting. Methods A digital recorder (ICD-PX720, Sony, Tokyo, Japan) was attached to 47 Indigenous children for 24 h during admission at Royal Darwin Hospital. After recording, carers reported their child's cough details. Cough counts were objectively measured and details of cough reports by carer (cough present/absent, quality wet/dry, cough severity determined by visual analogue scale and verbal category descriptive score) were the main outcomes measured. Other factors examined were: carer's sex, age, education, smoking, carer's cough, parent versus non-parent, respiratory illness in child and mean parent–proxy cough-specific quality of life questionnaire. Data were entered into STATA (V.10, STATA Corp., College Station, TX, USA). Cohen's kappa (κ) coefficients and Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rs) were used for data analysis. Results Reporting of cough by Indigenous carers (compared with cough monitoring) was slight when a low cough threshold (0.25 coughs/h) was used (κ = 0.17, 95% CI –0.15, 0.49) and moderate when a higher cough threshold was used (κ = 0.57, 95% CI 0.28, 0.88). Carers’ evaluation of wet cough disagreed with clinician's evaluation (κ = −0.24, 95% CI –0.58, 0.09). Subjective reporting of cough severity moderately correlated with objective cough rates (rs = 0.41 to 0.44, 95% CI 0.11, 0.67). None of the factors examined was associated with reliability of cough reporting. Conclusions The unreliability of reporting of cough highlights the need for community education on the importance of cough to improve health-seeking behaviour for early detection and treatment of respiratory disease.

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