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BMJ Mil Health ; 2021 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325298


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.

Occup Med (Lond) ; 2023 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301099


BACKGROUND: Significant numbers of individuals struggle to return to work following acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The UK Military developed an integrated medical and occupational pathway (Defence COVID-19 Recovery Service, DCRS) to ensure safe return to work for those with initially severe disease or persistent COVID-19 sequalae. Medical deployment status (MDS) is used to determine ability to perform job role without restriction ('fully deployable', FD) or with limitations ('medically downgraded', MDG). AIMS: To identify which variables differ between those who are FD and MDG 6 months after acute COVID-19. Within the downgraded cohort, a secondary aim is to understand which early factors are associated with persistent downgrading at 12 and 18 months. METHODS: Individuals undergoing DCRS had comprehensive clinical assessment. Following this, their electronic medical records were reviewed and MDS extracted at 6, 12 and 18 months. Fifty-seven predictors taken from DCRS were analysed. Associations were sought between initial and prolonged MDG. RESULTS: Three hundred and twenty-five participants were screened, with 222 included in the initial analysis. Those who were initially downgraded were more likely to have post-acute shortness of breath (SoB), fatigue and exercise intolerance (objective and subjective), cognitive impairment and report mental health symptoms. The presence of fatigue and SoB, cognitive impairment and mental health symptoms was associated with MDG at 12 months, and the latter two, at 18 months. There were also modest associations between cardiopulmonary function and sustained downgrading. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding the factors that are associated with initial and sustained inability to return to work allows individualized, targeted interventions to be utilized.

BMJ Mil Health ; 2022 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2137984


OBJECTIVE: Post-COVID-19 syndrome presents a health and economic challenge affecting ~10% of patients recovering from COVID-19. Accurate assessment of patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome is complicated by health anxiety and coincident symptomatic autonomic dysfunction. We sought to determine whether either symptoms or objective cardiopulmonary exercise testing could predict clinically significant findings. METHODS: 113 consecutive military patients were assessed in a comprehensive clinical pathway. This included symptom reporting, history, examination, spirometry, echocardiography and cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) in all, with chest CT, dual-energy CT pulmonary angiography and cardiac MRI where indicated. Symptoms, CPET findings and presence/absence of significant pathology were reviewed. Data were analysed to identify diagnostic strategies that may be used to exclude significant disease. RESULTS: 7/113 (6%) patients had clinically significant disease adjudicated by cardiothoracic multidisciplinary team (MDT). These patients had reduced fitness (V̇O2 26.7 (±5.1) vs 34.6 (±7.0) mL/kg/min; p=0.002) and functional capacity (peak power 200 (±36) vs 247 (±55) W; p=0.026) compared with those without significant disease. Simple CPET criteria (oxygen uptake (V̇O2) >100% predicted and minute ventilation (VE)/carbon dioxide elimination (V̇CO2) slope <30.0 or VE/V̇CO2 slope <35.0 in isolation) excluded significant disease with sensitivity and specificity of 86% and 83%, respectively (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) 0.89). The addition of capillary blood gases to estimate alveolar-arterial gradient improved diagnostic performance to 100% sensitivity and 78% specificity (AUC 0.92). Symptoms and spirometry did not discriminate significant disease. CONCLUSIONS: In a population recovering from SARS-CoV-2, there is reassuringly little organ pathology. CPET and functional capacity testing, but not reported symptoms, permit the exclusion of clinically significant disease.