Changes in quality of life and dyspnoea after hospitalization in COVID-19 patients discharged at home
Background: To date, the effects of COVID-19 pneumonia on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and dyspnea are unknown.
Methods: In a real-life observational study, 20 patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia received usual care plus erdosteine (300 mg twice daily) for 15 days after hospital discharge following local standard operating procedures. At discharge (T0) and on Day 15 (T1), participants completed the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scale of dyspnoea during daily activity, the BORG scale for dyspnoea during exertion, and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for dyspnoea at rest. Paired t-tests compared scores at T0 and T1.
Results: The mean (SD) SGRQ total score decreased from 25.5 (15.5) at T0 to 16.9 (13.2) at T1 (p<0.01); 65% of patients achieved a clinically important change of ≥4 points. SGRQ domain scores (symptoms, activity, and impact) were also significantly reduced (all p<0.01). The mean (SD) VAS score decreased from 1.6 (1.7) to 1.4 (2.5); p<0.01. The mean mMRC score decreased significantly (p=0.031) and 30% of patients achieved a clinically important change of ≥1 point. The mean (SD) Borg score increased from 12.8 (4.2) to 14.3 (2.4); p<0.01.
Conclusion: The present proof of concept study is the first to report HRQoL in patients with COVID-19. During 15 days after hospital discharge, patients reported significant improvements in HRQoL and dyspnoea at rest and during daily activities.
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