A tool to assess Long COVID symptoms has been developed

Medical Devices

A tool to assess Long COVID symptoms, developed with patients that have experienced Long COVID, has been developed by the University of Birmingham for the use in research and clinical care.

As it stands, two-hundred symptoms, which can affect many organs in body and include brain fog, fatigue and breathlessness, are related with Long COVID, which can affect people for months after the first Coronavirus infection has disappeared. It is estimated that approximately 1.3 million people in the UK are affected, with more than 100 million people worldwide.

“A tool to assess Long COVID symptoms has been developed.“

To address the challenge, the team from the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Patient-Reported Outcomes Research created the Symptom Burden Questionnaire for Long COVID. The questionnaire can be used by patients to report symptoms and the data will be used to help test whether the treatments are effective and safe, as well as identify them.

The questionnaire measures multiple symptoms and the impact of Long COVID. It was developed with wide-ranging patient input following regulatory guidance.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation, and was carried out in partnership with Aparito. The team plans to carry out more testing and development to discover how the tool can be used in routine clinical practice.

Senior author, Dr Sarah Hughes, stated: “People living with Long COVID say they experience a huge range of symptoms but getting these recognised by healthcare practitioners and policymakers has been a struggle. We designed and tested this tool with our patient partners to ensure it is as comprehensive as possible, while also not being burdensome for patients to complete.”

Karen Matthews from Long COVID SOS, public partner, stated: “I participated in a study quite early on in my condition and the questionnaire used didn’t capture the breadth of what I was feeling. Being able to shape something that could record that experience more effectively is worthwhile and I hope it gives researchers and people like me taking part in future studies some valuable evidence.”

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