Theses Doctoral

Psychophysical Evaluation of Descriptors and Tools for Measurement of Urge-to-Cough Sensation in Healthy Young Adults (HYA)

Rajappa, Akila Theyyar

The studies contained in this dissertation were driven by a desire to improve the methods for sensory testing of cough for clinical research and practice. Two scientific gaps in the cough evaluation literature were identified and investigated using two specific studies on healthy young adult participants. The first study focused on validating an appropriate descriptor for cough sensations (Chapter 2) and the second study (Chapter 3) focused on evaluating magnitude estimation tools to measure cough sensations. The findings of this dissertation make several unique contributions to the cough literature. The first study systematically compared two descriptive responses to cough stimuli (i.e., capsaicin) within subjects in terms of both cough sensory and cough motor outcomes. Findings revealed two types of descriptive responses for capsaicin stimuli, warm/burn and urge-to-cough (UTC). The UTC descriptor was, however, more sensitive and a valid predictor of cough response. The second study systematically compared two magnitude estimation tools, the Modified Borg Scale (MBS) and the generalized Labeled Magnitude Scale (gLMS) to measure the UTC sensations. Findings revealed that both tools were reliable and valid in detecting UTC sensations and predicting cough response. However, a differential effect to detection of UTC sensations across neighboring stimuli concentrations were demonstrated by the two tools. This dissertation provides the first set of normative reference values for UTC responses across a wide range of sensory continua using the conventional metric, the MBS, and an additional metric, the gLMS. Limitations are acknowledged and future work is suggested.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Speech and Language Pathology
Thesis Advisors
Troche, Michelle Shevon
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 11, 2019