The prevalence of physical fatigue and associated factors among covid-19 survivors

Yu Lok Wong, Siu Ngor Fu, Pui Ching Shirley Ngai, Wing Hong Hector Tsang, Wai Kwong Man, Yiu-Cheong Yeung, Loletta So, Tak-Chiu Wu, Loretta YC Yam

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)PosterAcademic researchpeer-review


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
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2022
EventWorld Physiotherapy Asia Western Pacific Regional Congress - , Hong Kong
Duration: 18 Jun 202220 Jun 2022


CongressWorld Physiotherapy Asia Western Pacific Regional Congress
Country/TerritoryHong Kong


  • COVID-19
  • Fatigue
  • Prevalence


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