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Occupational effects in patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John LeedsORCiD


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© The Author(s) 2023.Background: It is well recognized that some individuals experience persistent symptoms following an initial SARS-CoV-2 infection. Symptoms affect physical, cognitive and mental well-being and can adversely impact activities of daily living, including the ability to work. Aims: To examine the impact of post-COVID-19 syndrome with respect to effects on quality of life and impact on work in a cohort of people referred to a 'Long COVID' service. Methods: All triaged patients (over 18 years with symptoms more than 12 weeks since the initial infection) completed a symptom assessment questionnaire. Occupation and working status (at work, at work struggling with symptoms and off work) were also recorded. Impact on function and quality of life was assessed using the EQ5D5L questionnaire. Results: A total of 214 patients (median age 51.0 years, 135 females) were seen from January to September 2021. Analysis of occupational status showed: 18% were working, 40% were working but struggling and 35% had stopped working due to symptoms. Those unable to work reported significantly more fatigue, a greater perception of the need for support and lower quality-of-life scores. Conclusions: This study shows the extensive impact of post-COVID-19 syndrome on the ability to return to work. Specific return-to-work guidance is needed to support a large proportion of those struggling with the condition. The involvement of the Occupational Health team should form part of the multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to support rehabilitation and improve long-term outcomes for this condition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Green CE, Leeds JS, Leeds CM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Occupational Medicine

Year: 2024

Volume: 74

Issue: 1

Pages: 86-92

Print publication date: 01/01/2024

Online publication date: 09/12/2023

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0962-7480

ISSN (electronic): 1471-8405

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqad118

PubMed id: 38070493


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