Respiratory care (adults) – evidence and research


There is a unique opportunity for SLTs working in respiratory roles to engage in collaborative research. Current speech and language therapy evidence, particularly in the field of chronic cough and vocal cord dysfunction, is lacking and robust, prospective, well-designed research projects are missing from the literature.

To continue to evolve this emerging respiratory speech and language therapy role effectively, it is imperative that research into best practice occurs, to direct and underpin future care models of intervention.

Here you will find a summary of evidence and research relating to adult respiratory care and the role of speech and language therapy.


Visit the RCSLT Research Centre for information and resources to support your evidence-based practice; ways to enhance your continuing professional development (CPD); information about clinical academic careers; resources to help you get involved in research and much more.

Please contact us if you have any suggestions or feedback on these pages.

Finding evidence

Access research articles through our RCSLT Journals Collection and more resources to support using evidence based practice in our Research Centre

ASHA Evidence Map

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has collated recent research by clinical area or condition. This includes external scientific evidence, clinical expertise and client perspectives.

ASHA Evidence Map Upper Respiratory Disorders

Systematic reviews

Clunie, G., Roe, J. W. G., Alexander, C., Sandu, G. & McGregor, A. (2020). Voice and Swallowing Outcomes Following Airway Reconstruction in Adults: A Systematic Review. Laryngoscope.

Ghannouchi, I., Speyer, R., Doma, K., Cordier, R. & Verin, E. (2016). Swallowing function and chronic respiratory diseases: systematic review. Respiratory Medicine, 117, 54-64.

Molassiotis, A., Bryan, G., Caress, A., Bailey, C., & Smith, J. (2010). Pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for cough in adults with respiratory and non-respiratory diseases: A systematic review of the literature. Respiratory Medicine CME, 3(4), 199-206.

Cochrane Reviews

Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. Search the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Guppy, M.P.B., Mickan, S.M., Del Mar, C.B., Thorning, S., Rack, A. (2011). Advising patients to increase fluid intake for treating acute respiratory infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 2. CD004419.

Hao, Q., Dong, B.R., Wu, T. (2015). Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infection. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 2. CD006895.

Slinger,  C., Mehdi,  S.B., Milan,  S.J., Dodd,  S., Matthews,  J., Vyas,  A. & Marsden,  P,A. (2019) Speech and language therapy for management of chronic cough. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 7. CD013067.

Cochrane reviews for respiratory care in children

Weir, K., McMahon, S., Chang, A.B. (2012). Restriction of oral intake of water for aspiration lung disease in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 9. CD005303.

Winfield, N. R. Barker, N.J., Turner, E.R., Quin, G.L. (2014). Non-pharmaceutical management of respiratory morbidity in children with severe global developmental delay. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 10. CD010382.

Journal articles

Alexander, J.E. (2009). Assessment and treatment approaches for the patient with COPD. Perspectives on Gerontology, 14(2), 33-36.

Altman, K.W., Mirza, N., Ruiz, C. & Sataloff, R. T. (2000). Paradoxical vocal fold motion: presentation and treatment options. Journal of Voice, 14(1), 99-103.

Amimoto, Y., Nakano, H., Masumoto, N., Ishimatsu, A., Arakaki, Y., & Taba, N. et al, (2012). Lung Sound Analysis in a Patient with Vocal Cord Dysfunction and Bronchial Asthma. Journal Of Asthma, 49(3), 227-229.

Chamberlain Mitchell, S. A. F., Garrod, R., Clark, L., Douiri, A., Parker, S. M., Ellis, J., Fowler, S. J., Ludlow, S., Hull, J. H., Fan Chung, K., Lee, K. K., Bellas, H., Pandyan, A. & Birring, S. S. (2017). Physiotherapy, and speech and language therapy intervention for patients with refractory chronic cough: a multicentre randomised control trial. Thorax, 72, 129-136.

Cvejic, L., Harding, R., Churchward, T., Turton, A., Finlay, P., Massey, D., Bardin, P. G. & Guy, P. (2011). Laryngeal penetration and aspiration in individuals with stable COPD. Respirology, 16(2), 269-275.

Chaves, R. de D. (2011). Symptoms of dysphagia in patients with COPD. Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia, 37(2), 176-183.

Dunn, N.M., Katial, R.K. & Hoyte, F.C.L. (2015). Vocal cord dysfunction: a review. Asthma Research and Practice, 1 (9).

Ford, A.C., Forman, D., Moayyedi, P. & Morice, A. (2006). Cough in the community: a cross sectional survey and the relationship to gastrointestinal symptoms. Thorax, 61(11), 975-979.

Fowler, S.J., Thurston, A., Chesworth, B., Cheng, V., Constantinou, P., Vyas, A., Lillie, S. & Haines, J. (2015). The VCDQ – a questionnaire for symptom monitoring in vocal cord dysfunction. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 45(9).

Gibson, P. G. & Vertigan, A. E. (2009). Speech pathology for chronic cough: A new approach. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 22(2), 159-162.

Halvorsen T, Walsted ES, Bucca C, et al, Inducible laryngeal obstruction: an official joint European Respiratory Society and European Laryngological Society statement. European Respiratory Journal, 50.

Haque, R.A., Usmani, O. S. & Barnes, P. J. (2005). Chronic idiopathic cough: a discrete clinical entity? Chest, 127(5), 1710 – 1713.

Martin-Harris, B. (2006). Coordination of respiration and swallowing: functional pattern and relevance of vocal folds closure. Arquivos de Gastroenterologia. 47 (1), 42-48.

McKinstry, A., Tranter, M. & Sweeney. (2010). Outcomes of dysphagia intervention in a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Dysphagia, 25(2), 104-111.

McPhee, K. (2011). A preliminary investigation into the association between Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and oropharyngeal dysphagia and its impact on health. PhD Thesis. & Accessed on 02.11.2017

Morice, A.H., McGarvey, L. & Pavord, I. (2006). Recommendations for the management of cough in adults. Thorax, 61(1), 1–24.

Newsham, K.R., Klaben, B. K., Miller, V. J. & Saunders, J. E. (2002). Paradoxical Vocal-cord dysfunction: management in athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 37(3), 325-328.

Pargeter, N., Stonehewer, L. & Mansur, A. H. (2011). Functional and psychological aspects of breathlessness. Foundation Years Journal, 5 (9).

Pratter, M.R. & Abouzgheib, W. (2006). Make the cough go away. Chest, 129(5), 1121-1122.

Raj, A. & Birring, S. S. (2007). Clinical assessment of chronic cough severity. Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 20(4).

Ryan, N., Vertigan, A., & Gibson, P. (2009). Chronic cough and laryngeal dysfunction improve with specific treatment of cough and paradoxical vocal fold movement. Cough, 5(1), 4.

Schindler, A., Mozzanica, F., Sonzini, G., Plebani, D., Urbani, E., Pecis, M. & Montano, N. (2014). Oropharyngeal dysphagia in patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. Dysphagia, 29(1).

Vertigan, A. E., Theodoros, D. G., Gibson, P. G. & Winkworth, A. L. (2006). Efficacy of speech pathology management for chronic cough: a randomised placebo controlled trial of treatment efficacy. Thorax, 61(12), 1065-1069.

Vertigan, A., Theodoros, D., Gibson, P., & Winkworth, A. (2007). REVIEW SERIES: Chronic cough: Behaviour modification therapies for chronic cough. Chronic Respiratory Disease, 4(2), 89-97.

Vertigan, A., Gibson, P., Theodoros, D., & Winkworth, A. (2008). The role of sensory dysfunction in the development of voice disorders, chronic cough and paradoxical vocal fold movement. International Journal Of Speech-Language Pathology, 10(4), 231-244.

Research Impact case studies

Find a full list of impact case studies relevant to speech and language therapy in our Research Centre.

Research priorities

The RCSLT, in collaboration with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), is working on a project to determine the top priorities for new research in speech and language therapy. Read our summary here

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