How long should COVID patients be assessed?

image: WBU scientists are developing an assessment proposal for clinicians and researchers to use to establish an individualized treatment protocol
to see After

Credit: University of Malaga

Today, it is estimated globally that one in ten people who have suffered from COVID-19 have symptoms that persist for more than 12 weeks, according to results from the REACT-2 study from Imperial College of London. London. This is precisely why the term “Long COVID” is used to define those signs – so far more than 200 different signs have been identified – which persist after an acute state of coronavirus.

How to assess these patients? What is the most appropriate therapeutic approach? To answer these questions, scientists from the Department of Physiotherapy of the University of Malaga have developed an evaluation proposal composed of different types of questionnaires, functional tests and exercise tests, aimed at clinicians and researchers.

Individualized treatment

The objective of this guide published in the scientific journal Medical assumptionsis to be integrated as part of the assessment of a Long COVID patient in order to make decisions and guide their treatment individually.

“After reviewing much of the existing literature, we can say that fatigue, exhaustion, post-exercise malaise and, to a lesser extent, respiratory symptoms are the predominant signs in these patients,” explains researcher Cristina Roldán Jiménez, co-author of this article. article, in collaboration with Professor Antonio Cuesta Vargas, coordinator of the clinimetry group in physiotherapy, both members of IBIMA-Plataforma BIONAND.

Possible lack of exercise tolerance

The expert explains that post-exercise malaise is characterized by symptoms that worsen with effort and, moreover, is not relieved by rest, so she asks to consider this possible lack of tolerance to exercise in patients with long COVID.

“Physical exercise may not be a safe and effective strategy for these patients”, disputes the researcher, who warns of the existing controversy on this subject around the most appropriate therapeutic approach.

This is why the approach to treatment and management of Long COVID patients proposed by these UMA researchers is based on the etiology of the symptoms that each of them individually presents.

The study is currently awaiting technical approval from PEIBA (Andalusian Portal for Biomedical Research Ethics) so that, in collaboration with internal medicine, it can be validated on a sample of real patients.


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