Adrian Vasile Bota, Felix Bratosin, Iulia Bogdan, Susa Septimiu-Radu, Adrian Cosmin Ilie, Sonia-Roxana Burtic, David Vladut Razvan, Raluca Tudor, Mirela Florica Indries, Andrei Nicolae Csep, Ariadna Petronela Fildan, Camelia Melania Budea, Iosif Marincu

Assessing the Quality of Life, Coping Strategies, Anxiety and Depression Levels in Patients with Long-COVID-19 Syndrome: A Six-Month Follow-Up Study

  • General Medicine

This longitudinal study investigates the psychosocial effects of long-COVID Syndrome, a domain still not extensively researched. It specifically evaluates the quality of life, coping mechanisms, anxiety and depression levels in COVID-19 survivors, differentiating between those with and without long-COVID Syndrome. Conducted at the Victor Babes Hospital for Infectious Diseases and Pulmonology in Timisoara, Romania, the study utilized a cohort of patients diagnosed with mild to moderate COVID-19. The following standardized tools: WHOQOL-BREF for quality of life, COPE-60 for coping strategies, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), were employed for the assessment. The sample consisted of 86 patients displaying persistent post-acute symptoms and 432 asymptomatic patients at the 6-month post-discharge mark. Patients with frequent post-acute symptoms reported significantly higher levels of fatigue (8.2 ± 1.4), cognitive difficulties (7.5 ± 1.6), and respiratory challenges (7.8 ± 1.3), along with a markedly lower overall quality of life (7.0 ± 1.5) compared to their asymptomatic counterparts. HADS scores revealed elevated depression (6.8 ± 1.9) and anxiety (7.1 ± 2.3) in the symptomatic group. Quality of life, as evaluated through the use of WHOQOL-BREF, showed lower scores in the symptomatic cohort across physical (58.8 ± 15.8), mental (56.3 ± 16.4), and social domains (50.2 ± 17.5). COPE-60 findings indicated a higher prevalence of disengagement (56.4%) and emotion-focused coping strategies (61.8%) in the symptomatic group, in contrast to 30.1% and 37.0%, respectively, in the asymptomatic group. The study highlights that long-COVID Syndrome significantly deteriorates the quality of life and is associated with increased depression and anxiety levels. The prevalent use of disengagement and emotion-focused coping strategies among patients with persistent symptoms suggests a need for enhanced psychosocial support tailored to this subgroup.

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