This site is intended for healthcare professionals only


Breathlessness and cough assessment algorithms

Posted on: 31 Jan 2019

Breathlessness is not only frightening and disabling for patients, but also a strong indicator for hospitalisation and premature death. Despite this, it is not included in any current general health assessment. As well as being a cardinal symptom in COPD, breathlessness can also indicate a number of other conditions. Therefore, a structured approach to diagnosing breathlessness is essential – even in patients with existing respiratory conditions. This can easily be done in primary care, without the need for specialist diagnostic testing.

Persistent chronic cough in adults is also in need of a structured out-of-hospital approach to diagnosis. and the Lambeth and Southwark Adult Cough Assessment Algorithm, here reproduced with permission from Lambeth and Southwark CCGs, offers an approach that includes checking the basics, accurate coding and top cough tips.

Find below:

  • IMPRESS breathlessness algorithm, published by BTS/PCRS
  • NHS Lambeth and Southwark Breathlessness and Cough assessment algorithms
  • East of England non-acute breathlessness
Adult cough assessment 1 Adult cough assessment 2 EoE breathlessness algorithm

Media partners

Developed in partnership with

Funded by

Media partners:

The Primary Care Respiratory Academy has been developed and is produced by Cogora, the publisher of Pulse, Nursing in Practice, Healthcare Leader, Management in Practice and The Pharmacist working in partnership with PCRS.

All educational content for the website and videos has been initiated and produced by PCRS and Cogora.

The Primary Care Respiratory Academy is sponsored by Chiesi Ltd.