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13.01.2022 | COVID-19 | Original Research Zur Zeit gratis

Health-Related Quality of Life Mildly Affected Following COVID-19: a Retrospective Pre-post Cohort Study with a Propensity Score–Matched Control Group

Journal of General Internal Medicine
PhD Brittany Lapin, MD Irene L. Katzan
Wichtige Hinweise

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Long-term health effects have been indicated following COVID-19; however, the impact of COVID-19 on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), including who may experience ongoing symptoms, is unknown.


To identify change in HRQOL following COVID-19 compared to pre-infection HRQOL and a matched control group, and identify predictors of patients who worsen.


Retrospective pre-post cohort study with a matched control group.


Large healthcare system in northeast Ohio.


A total of 3,690 adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who completed HRQOL surveys during routine care for ambulatory visits before and after infection. Propensity-score 1:1 match was utilized to identify controls without COVID who completed HRQOL at two time points.

Main Outcomes

HRQOL was assessed with PROMIS Global Health: global mental and physical health summary scores. Pre- and post-COVID PROMIS Global Health was completed as part of routine care from 1/1/2019 to 2/29/2020 and 4/4/2020 to 11/1/2021, respectively, and extracted from the electronic health record.


COVID-19 patients (mean age 53±15; 66% female) completed PROMIS Global Health in the year prior (median 11.1 months) and after diagnosis (median 7.8 months). Compared to before infection, COVID-19 patients had a significant reduction in global mental health and stable global physical health (−0.85 and 0.05 T-score points, respectively) with clinically meaningful reduction (≥5 T-score points) experienced by 27% and 23% of patients, respectively. Predictors of worsening global health included being female, having depression, being hospitalized for COVID-19, and better pre-COVID global health. Compared to the control group, there was significantly worse global mental and physical health decline following COVID-19 (−0.53 and −0.37 T-score points, respectively).

Conclusions and Relevance

A quarter of patients with COVID-19 experienced meaningful reductions in HRQOL. Reductions in global mental and physical health were modest, although significantly worse than a control group. Additionally, identified predictors of patients who worsen may assist clinicians when counseling patients of their risk of worse HRQOL following COVID-19.

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