Treatment of Acute Cough in Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (TAC) study

Have you had a persistent dry cough for the last few weeks?

About the project

We are looking for volunteers who are currently experiencing a dry cough following an illness with a cold to take part in a project. Researchers from the Woman coughingHunter Medical Research Institute would like to see if a behavioural treatment for chronic cough is also effective when introduced earlier, when people have been coughing for approximately 2-3 weeks.

All participants will take part in an initial survey over the phone and will then be randomly allocated to one of two treatments. Participants will be asked to attend 2-3 visits in person at the Hunter Medical Research Institute for assessment and treatment. Visits will be approximately 60-90 mins in duration per visit.

Why is this project important?

In this study we aim to determine whether early intervention for acute cough following upper respiratory tract infection reduces the proportion of patients who develop chronic cough (a cough that persists for more than 8 weeks, and can be present for years in many people).

We hypothesise that a brief intervention for acute cough resulting from upper respiratory tract infection will reduce the proportion of patients who develop chronic cough

Who can participate in the project?

We are looking for people who:

  • Have a cough that has been present for between 3 and 6 weeks following an upper respiratory tract infection (common cold)
  • Are not coughing up phlegm
  • Are aged 18 years or older

This study won’t be suitable for you if:

  • You are coughing up blood
  • You have cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or interstitial lung disease
  • You are unable to attend study visits
  • You are a current smoker
  • You have significant breathing difficulties, especially at rest or at night
  • You have a history of unexplained weight loss
  • You have current or ongoing chest pain
  • You currently have pneumonia

Learn more about this project:

Information Brochure (DOC, 134KB)

How can I take part?

If you would like to take part, please complete this screening survey online by following this link.

If you are eligible to participate and you indicate you are happy to be contacted, a researcher will call you to discuss the study further.

Further information

If you would like further information, please contact Dr Anne Vertigan or Sarah Kapela

Phone: 49213725 or 40420 000 (HMRI reception)

Email: or

Complaints about this research

This project has been approved by the Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval number 2020/ETH00550).

Should you have any concerns about your rights as a participant in this research, or you have a complaint about the manner in which the research is conducted, it may be given to the researcher, or, if an independent person is preferred, to Dr Nicole Gerrand, Manager, Research Ethics and Governance, Hunter New England Local Health District, Level 3 POD HMRI Lot 1 Kookaburra Circuit

New Lambton NSW 2305, telephone (02) 4921 4950, email

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.