Although most patients with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recover spontaneously, many experience post-COVID physical fatigue.
This study aimed to: (1) assess the prevalence of post-COVID fatigue after hospital discharge; and (2) determine physical factors associated with fatigue in these survivors.Methods:
COVID-19 survivors were referred by physicians from four local hospitals. Survivors who provided written consent underwent assessments in the respective hospitals or on a university campus. Specifically, they completed a battery of tests (e.g., fatigue assessment scale, spirometry, quadriceps strength tests, and functional tests, etc.). The prevalence of fatigue was calculated. Factors affecting fatigues were analyzed by a stepwise logistic regression model with adjustment for potential confounders.
Ninety-four participants (age range: 24-88 years; 59.2% females; mean post-COVID duration: 4.7±2.8 months) were assessed. 45% of them reported fatigue and 4% experienced severe fatigue. Those reported fatigue had significantly lower forced vital capacity (FVC) (p=0.02), and a trend of reduced forced expiratory volume (p=0.05) and lowered normalized bilateral quadriceps torque (p=0.07). The regression model showed that COVID-19 survivors with lower FVC (odds ratio: 1.33), and quadriceps torque (odds ratio: 1.22) were more likely to have clinically significant fatigue.
Although the mechanisms of post-COVID fatigue remain to be explored, our findings suggest that self-perceived clinically significant fatigue is characterized by poor lung function and bilateral lower limb weakness. Structured post-COVID rehabilitation programs targeting the restoration of lung function and lower limb muscle strengths are warranted to reduce survivors’ fatigue, and enhance their ability to perform daily
|Publication status||Published - 18 Jun 2022|
|Event||World Physiotherapy Asia Western Pacific Regional Congress - , Hong Kong|
Duration: 18 Jun 2022 → 20 Jun 2022
|Congress||World Physiotherapy Asia Western Pacific Regional Congress|
|Period||18/06/22 → 20/06/22|