Long-term clinical outcomes in survivors of SARS and MERS

Added July 20, 2020

Citation: Ahmed H, Patel K, Greenwood DC, et al. Long-term clinical outcomes in survivors of severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreaks after hospitalisation or ICU admission: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2020 May 25;52(5):jrm00063.

What is this? Some patients with COVID-19 will become critically ill and may experience long-term complications from their illness. Research on the long-term clinical outcomes of patients with other coronaviruses (SARS and MERS) might provide useful information for healthcare providers and policy makers.

In this rapid review, the authors searched for studies on the long-term (> 3 month) clinical complications for survivors of SARS and MERS after hospitalization and intensive care unit admission. They did not restrict their searches by date of publication and did the search in March 2020. They included 28 studies, including 26 studies on SARS and 2 on MERS.

What was found: At the time of this review, the included studies showed that health-related quality of life was considerably reduced in survivors of SARS and MERS even 12 months after discharge.

At the time of this review, the included studies showed that common complications among survivors included lung function abnormalities, reduced exercise capacity and psychological consequences, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Based on the evidence available from studies of patients with SARS and MERS, the review authors concluded that rehabilitation clinicians and services should anticipate similar long-term health problems in survivors of COVID-19, investigate them accordingly and plan suitable and timely treatments to enable their best possible recovery and quality of life.


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