Physical, cognitive and mental health outcomes in 1-year survivors of COVID-19-associated ARDS

Thorax. 2022 Mar;77(3):300-303. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2021-218064. Epub 2021 Sep 29.


We report on the outcome of 114 COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) survivors evaluated at 3, 6 and 12 months after intensive care unit discharge with assessment of physical, mental and cognitive impairments. Critical illness polyneuromyopathy was diagnosed in 23 patients (39%). Handgrip dynamometry was 70% predicted at 3 months and significantly improved over time, whereas the 6 min walk test (80% predicted) and severe fatigue (27% of patients) did not. Independence in activities of daily living (ADL) was achieved by 98% at 3 months. Cognitive impairment (28% at 3 months) improved over time, whereas depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, present in 9%, 10% and 4% at 3 months, did not. Normalised health-related quality of life was good. COVID-19-associated ARDS leads to persisting impairment in performance-based measures of physical function, while ADL, cognitive and mental health status, and health-related quality of life may be less impaired. Trial registration number NCT04608994.

Keywords: ARDS; COVID-19.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • COVID-19*
  • Cognition
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome* / etiology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Survivors / psychology

Associated data