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Open AccessArticle

Care Dependency in Non-Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19

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Department of Research and Development, Ciro, 6085 NM Horn, The Netherlands
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Nutrim School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, 6229 HX Maastricht, The Netherlands
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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+), 6229 HX Maastricht, The Netherlands
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REVAL—Rehabilitation Research Center, BIOMED—Biomedical Research Institute, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hasselt University, 3500 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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Lung Foundation Netherlands, 3818 LE Amersfoort, The Netherlands
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Department of Pulmonary Disease, Radboud University Medical Center, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Department of Health Services Research, Care and Public Health Research Institute, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, 6229 ER Maastricht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(9), 2946; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092946
Received: 27 August 2020 / Revised: 7 September 2020 / Accepted: 8 September 2020 / Published: 12 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
Background: A large sample of “mild” COVID-19 patients still experience multiple symptoms months after being infected. These persistent symptoms are associated with many clinically relevant outcomes, including poor health status and impaired functional status. To date, no information is available about care dependency. Therefore, we aimed to explore the level of care dependency and the need for assistance with personal care in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods: Members of two Facebook groups for COVID-19 patients with persistent complaints in The Netherlands and Belgium, and from a panel of people who registered at a website of the Lung Foundation Netherlands, were assessed for demographics, pre-existing comorbidities, health status, and symptoms. In addition, patients were asked about their dependence on others for personal care before and after the infection. The level of care dependency was assessed with the Care Dependency Scale (CDS) in members of the Belgian Facebook group (n = 210). Results: The data of 1837 non-hospitalized patients (86% women; median (IQR) age: 47 (38–54)) were analyzed. Only a small proportion of patients needed help with personal care before COVID-19, but the care need increased significantly after the infection (on average 79 ± 17 days after the onset of symptoms; 7.7% versus 52.4%, respectively; p < 0.05). The patients had a median (IQR) CDS score of 72 (67–75) points, and 31% of the patients were considered as care-dependent (CDS score ≤ 68 points). Conclusions: COVID-19 has an important impact on care dependency in non-hospitalized patients. About three months after the onset of symptoms, a considerable proportion of non-hospitalized patients were to some degree dependent on others for personal care. This indicates that the impact of COVID-19 on patients’ daily lives is tremendous, and more attention is needed to identify optimal treatment strategies to restore patients’ independency. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; care dependency; activities of daily living COVID-19; care dependency; activities of daily living
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Vaes, A.W.; Machado, F.V.; Meys, R.; Delbressine, J.M.; Goertz, Y.M.; Van Herck, M.; Houben-Wilke, S.; Franssen, F.M.; Vijlbrief, H.; Spies, Y.; Van ’t Hul, A.J.; Burtin, C.; Janssen, D.J.; Spruit, M.A. Care Dependency in Non-Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2946.

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