Introduction The multisystem COVID-19 can cause prolonged symptoms requiring rehabilitation. This study describes the creation of a remote COVID-19 rehabilitation assessment tool to allow timely triage, assessment and management. It hypotheses those with post-COVID-19 syndrome, potentially without laboratory confirmation and irrespective of initial disease severity, will have significant rehabilitation needs.
Methods Cross-sectional study of consecutive patients referred by general practitioners (April–November 2020). Primary outcomes were presence/absence of anticipated sequelae. Binary logistic regression was used to test association between acute presentation and post-COVID-19 symptomatology.
Results 155 patients (n=127 men, n=28 women, median age 39 years, median 13 weeks post-illness) were assessed using the tool. Acute symptoms were most commonly shortness of breath (SOB) (74.2%), fever (73.5%), fatigue (70.3%) and cough (64.5%); and post-acutely, SOB (76.7%), fatigue (70.3%), cough (57.4%) and anxiety/mood disturbance (39.4%). Individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 were 69% and 63% less likely to have anxiety/mood disturbance and pain, respectively, at 3 months.
Conclusions Rehabilitation assessment should be offered to all patients suffering post-COVID-19 symptoms, not only those with laboratory confirmation and considered independently from acute illness severity. This tool offers a structure for a remote assessment. Post-COVID-19 programmes should include SOB, fatigue and mood disturbance management.
- rehabilitation medicine
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information. Relevant, anonymised data are uploaded as supplemental files. Further requests for data will need to be done through the Ministry of Defence.
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