Patient-Reported Outcome Measures After Hospitalization During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Survey Among COVID-19 and Non-COVID-19 Patients

Int J Gen Med. 2021 Aug 26:14:4829-4836. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S323316. eCollection 2021.


Background: Many people recovering from COVID-19 suffer from long-term sequelae. The objective of this study was to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in COVID-19 patients several months after discharge.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional case-control study on COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 pneumonia patients admitted to Shamir Medical Center, Israel (03-07/2020). In the months following discharge, patients were invited to participate in a survey and fill the RAND-36 questionnaire. Patients' characteristics and comorbidities were extracted from electronic charts.

Results: Among 66 COVID-19 participants, the median age was 58.5 (IQR 49.8-68.3), 56.1% were female, and 36.4% were obese. The median length of stay was 7 days (IQR 4-10). Patient-reported outcome measures were reported at a median follow-up of 9-months (IQR 6-9). Pain, general health, vitality, and health change had the lowest scores (67.5, 60, 57.5, and 25, respectively). Matching to patients hospitalized with pneumonia due to other pathogens was performed on 42 of the COVID-19 patients. Non-COVID-19 patients were more frequently current or past smokers (50% vs 11.9%, p < 0.01) and suffered more often from chronic lung disease (38.1% vs 9.5%, p = 0.01). The score for health change was significantly lower in the COVID-19 group (25 vs 50, p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Post COVID-19 patients continue to suffer from an assortment of symptoms and perceive a deterioration in their health many months after hospitalization. This emphasizes the importance of prolonged medical follow-up in this population, and the need for additional research to better understand this novel disease's long-term effects.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; health-related quality of life; long COVID; patient-reported outcome measures.