Patient Experiences Navigating Care Coordination For Long COVID: A Qualitative Study.

Publication date: Feb 02, 2024

Little is known about how to best evaluate, diagnose, and treat long COVID, which presents challenges for patients as they seek care. Understand experiences of patients as they navigate care for long COVID. Qualitative study involving interviews with patients about topics related to seeking and receiving care for long COVID. Eligible patients were at least 18 years of age, spoke English, self-identified as functioning well prior to COVID infection, and reported long COVID symptoms continued to impact their lives at 3 months or more after a COVID infection. Patients were recruited from a post-COVID recovery clinic at an academic medical center from August to September 2022. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Participants (n=21) reported experiences related to elements of care coordination: access to care, evaluation, treatment, and ongoing care concerns. Some patients noted access to care was facilitated by having providers that listened to and validated their symptoms; other patients reported feeling their access to care was hindered by providers who did not believe or understand their symptoms. Patients reported confusion around how to communicate their symptoms when being evaluated for long COVID, and they expressed frustration with receiving test results that were normal or diagnoses that were not directly attributed to long COVID. Patients acknowledged that clinicians are still learning how to treat long COVID, and they voiced appreciation for providers who are willing to try new treatment approaches. Patients expressed ongoing care concerns, including feeling there is nothing more that can be done, and questioned long-term impacts on their aging and life expectancy. Our findings shed light on challenges faced by patients with long COVID as they seek care. Healthcare systems and providers should consider these challenges when developing strategies to improve care coordination for patients with long COVID.

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Concepts Keywords
Clinicians care coordination
Covid chronic disease
English long COVID
Frustration post-acute COVID-19 syndrome
September qualitative research


Type Source Name
disease MESH Long COVID
disease MESH infection
disease VO USA
disease MESH chronic disease
disease IDO acute infection
disease MESH cognitive impairment
disease VO organization
disease MESH hypertension
disease VO Gap
disease VO population
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
drug DRUGBANK Dacarbazine
disease MESH uncertainty
disease IDO process
disease MESH COVID 19
disease MESH postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
disease MESH sarcoidosis
disease VO time
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease MESH dementia
disease MESH strokes
disease IDO blood
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH fibromyalgia
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
disease VO vaccination
disease VO effective
disease VO report
pathway REACTOME Reproduction
drug DRUGBANK (S)-Des-Me-Ampa
drug DRUGBANK Esomeprazole
disease MESH symptom clusters
disease MESH sequelae
drug DRUGBANK Serine
disease MESH chronic pain

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