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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.

BMJ Mil Health ; 2023 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2214002


BACKGROUND: In the UK, there have been multiple waves of COVID-19, with a five-tier alert system created to describe the transmission rate and appropriate restrictions. While acute mortality decreased, there continued to be a significant morbidity, with individuals suffering from persistent, life-restricting symptoms for months to years afterwards. A remote rehabilitation tool was created at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Stanford Hall to assess post-COVID-19 symptoms and their impact on the UK military.This study aims to understand changes in post-COVID-19 syndrome between wave 1 and wave 2, identify interactions between alert level and symptoms and investigate any predictive nature of acute symptoms for postacute symptomology in a young, physically active population. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 458 consecutive remote rehabilitation assessments performed at DMRC Stanford Hall between 2 April 2020 and 29 July 2021. Consultations were coded, anonymised, and statistical analysis was performed to determine associations between acute and postacute symptoms, and between symptoms, alert levels and waves. RESULTS: 435 assessments were eligible; 174 in wave 1 and 261 in wave 2. Post-COVID-19 syndrome prevalence reduced from 43% to 2% between the waves. Acutely, widespread pain was more prevalent in wave 2 (p<0.001). Postacutely, there was increased anxiety (p=0.10) in wave 1 and increased sleep disturbance (p<0.001), memory/concentration issues (p<0.001) and shortness of breath/cough (p=0.017) in wave 2. Increasing alert level was associated with increased postacute symptom prevalence (p=0.046), with sleep disturbance increasing at higher alert level (p=0.016). Acute symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbance and myalgia, were associated with multiple postacute symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: This study reports the overall prevalence and symptom burden in the UK military in the first two waves of COVID-19. By reporting differences in COVID-19 in different waves and alert level, this study highlights the importance of careful assessment and contextual understanding of acute and postacute illnesses for individual management plans.

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.