DOI: 10.11124/jbies-23-00277 ISSN: 2689-8381

An exploration of the definitions and measures that have been used when investigating fatigue in adults with Long COVID: a scoping review protocol

Bethan Thomas, Rachael Pattinson, Deborah Edwards, Carys Dale, Benjamin Jenkins, Helena Lande, Christine Bundy, Jennifer L. Davies
  • General Nursing


The aim of this scoping review is to investigate how fatigue is defined and measured in adults with long COVID.


Following COVID-19 infection, 10% to 20% of individuals go on to experience persisting symptoms for a minimum of 3 months; this is commonly known as long COVID. Fatigue is one of the most prevalent symptoms of long COVID, but there is currently no consistently applied definition of long COVID fatigue. To advance our understanding of long COVID fatigue, we must first identify the current definitions and measures being used to describe and quantify this condition.

Inclusion criteria:

This review will consider published and unpublished studies from January 2020 onwards involving adults (≥18 years) that define and/or measure long COVID fatigue. There will be no initial language restrictions, and papers using both quantitative and qualitative designs will be included. Conference abstracts, editorials, and opinion papers will be excluded.


Published studies will be searched for across MEDLINE (Ovid), CINAHL (EBSCOhost), Embase (Ovid), Scopus, PsycINFO (Ovid), Web of Science, Epistemonikos, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Dimensions, Overton, and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses will be searched for unpublished literature. Eligible records will be de-duplicated, and 2 independent reviewers will carry out title, abstract, and full-text screening. A data extraction tool will be pilot tested on a small number of papers, then modified as necessary (any modifications will be detailed in the scoping review). Findings will be presented in tables and charts, supported by a narrative summary.

Review Registration:

Open Science Framework

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