Symptoms and management of long COVID: A scoping review

Link to article at PubMed

J Clin Nurs. 2021 Dec 15. doi: 10.1111/jocn.16150. Online ahead of print.


AIM: This scoping review aims to describe published work on the symptoms and management of long COVID conditions.

BACKGROUND: Symptoms and management of COVID-19 have focused on the acute stage. However, long-term consequences have also been observed.

METHODS: A scoping review was performed based on the framework suggested by Arksey and O'Malley. We conducted a literature search to retrieve articles published from May 2020 to March 2021 in CINHAL, Cochrane library, Embase, PubMed and Web of science, including backward and forward citation tracking from the included articles. Among the 1880 articles retrieved, 34 articles met our criteria for review: 21 were related to symptom presentation and 13 to the management of long COVID.

RESULTS: Long COVID symptoms were described in 21 articles. Following COVID-19 treatment, hospitalised patients most frequently reported dyspnoea, followed by anosmia/ageusia, fatigue and cough, while non-hospitalised patients commonly reported cough, followed by fever and myalgia/arthralgia. Thirteen studies described management for long COVID: Focused on a multidisciplinary approach in seven articles, pulmonary rehabilitation in three articles, fatigue management in two articles and psychological therapy in one study.

CONCLUSION: People experience varied COVID-19 symptoms after treatment. However, guidelines on evidence-based, multidisciplinary management for long COVID conditions are limited in the literature. The COVID-19 pandemic may extend due to virus mutations; therefore, it is crucial to develop and disseminate evidence-based, multidisciplinary management guidelines.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: A rehabilitation care plan and community healthcare plans are necessary for COVID-19 patients before discharge. Remote programmes could facilitate the monitoring and screening of people with long COVID.

PMID:34913540 | DOI:10.1111/jocn.16150

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