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Studying the post-COVID-19 condition: research challenges, strategies, and importance of Core Outcome Set development

Munblit, D., Nicholson, T., Needham, D. M. , Seylanova, N., Parr, C., Chen, J., Kokorina, A., Sigfrid, L., Buonsenso, D., Bhatnagar, S., Thiruvengadam, R., Parker, A., Preller, J., Avdeev, S., Klok, F., Tong, A.C., Diaz, J., De Groote, W., Schiess, N., Akrami, A., Simpson, F., Olliaro, P., Apfelbacher, C., Rosa, R., Chevinsky, J., Saydah, S., Schmitt, J., Guekht, A., Gorst, S., Genuneit, J., Reyes, L., Asmanov, A., O'Hara, M., Scott, J., Michelen, M., Stavropoulou, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-4307-1848, Warner, J., Herridge, M. & Williamson, P. (2022). Studying the post-COVID-19 condition: research challenges, strategies, and importance of Core Outcome Set development. BMC Medicine, 20(1), 50. doi: 10.1186/s12916-021-02222-y

Abstract

Background
A substantial portion of people with COVID-19 subsequently experience lasting symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, and neurological complaints such as cognitive dysfunction many months after acute infection. Emerging evidence suggests that this condition, commonly referred to as long COVID but also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) or post-COVID-19 condition, could become a significant global health burden.

Main text
While the number of studies investigating the post-COVID-19 condition is increasing, there is no agreement on how this new disease should be defined and diagnosed in clinical practice and what relevant outcomes to measure. There is an urgent need to optimise and standardise outcome measures for this important patient group both for clinical services and for research and to allow comparing and pooling of data.

Conclusions
A Core Outcome Set for post-COVID-19 condition should be developed in the shortest time frame possible, for improvement in data quality, harmonisation, and comparability between different geographical locations. We call for a global initiative, involving all relevant partners, including, but not limited to, healthcare professionals, researchers, methodologists, patients, and caregivers. We urge coordinated actions aiming to develop a Core Outcome Set (COS) for post-COVID-19 condition in both the adult and paediatric populations.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s). 2022 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19, COVID-19 sequalae, Long COVID, Post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, PASC, PostCOVID-19 condition, Outcomes, Core Outcome Set
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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