When I first started researching infectious cough in children, lots of clinicians told me they couldn’t understand why so many parents brought in children who were well enough to turn the consulting room upside down before they even started the examination. As a parent of two young children myself, I had some idea, but as a qualitative researcher, I was keen to get a balanced view.
In the TARGET Programme* we wanted to answer two questions. Given that most coughs will get better on their own:
1) Why do so many parents consult when their child has a cough?
2) Why do so many clinicians prescribe antibiotics for children with coughs?