Post-discharge health status and symptoms in patients with severe COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

medRxiv. 2020 Aug 14:2020.08.11.20172742. doi: 10.1101/2020.08.11.20172742. Preprint.


BACKGROUND: Little is known about long-term recovery from severe COVID-19 disease. Here, we characterize overall health, physical health and mental health of patients one month after discharge for severe COVID-19.

METHODS: This was a prospective single health system observational cohort study of patients ≥18 years hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 disease who required at least 6 liters of oxygen during admission, had intact baseline cognitive and functional status and were discharged alive. Participants were enrolled between 30 and 40 days after discharge. Outcomes were elicited through validated survey instruments: the PROMIS Dyspnea Characteristics and PROMIS Global Health-10.

RESULTS: A total of 161 patients (40.6% of eligible) were enrolled; 152 (38.3%) completed the survey. Median age was 62 years (interquartile range [IQR], 50-67); 57 (37%) were female. Overall, 113/152 (74%) participants reported shortness of breath within the prior week (median score 3 out of 10 [IQR 0-5]), vs. 47/152 (31%) pre-COVID-19 infection (0, IQR 0-1), p<0.001. Participants also rated their physical health and mental health as worse in their post-COVID state (43.8, standard deviation 9.3; mental health 47.3, SD 9.3) compared to their pre-COVID state, (54.3, SD 9.3; 54.3, SD 7.8, respectively), both p <0.001. A total of 52/148 (35.1%) patients without pre-COVID oxygen requirements needed home oxygen after hospital discharge; 20/148 (13.5%) reported still using oxygen at time of survey.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with severe COVID-19 disease typically experience sequelae affecting their respiratory status, physical health and mental health for at least several weeks after hospital discharge.

PMID:32817973 | PMC:PMC7430618 | DOI:10.1101/2020.08.11.20172742

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