Better understanding physical and cognitive impairments and functional limitations in people suffering from long COVID to support the development of adapted interventions
Of the 1,000,000 Canadians who have been infected by COVID-19, 8 to 15% will continue to experience COVID‑19 related symptoms well after 12 weeks. The persistence of such symptoms is now defined as “long COVID” syndrome. Current evidence does not provide a clear understanding of the physical and cognitive impairments and functional limitations that persons with long COVID present. The objectives of this project are to describe the physical and cognitive impairments and functional limitations experienced by people with long COVID and compare the evolution over 6 months of people from three separate groups: a group of people with long COVID (long COVID Group), another group of people who contracted COVID‑19 but did not experience persistent symptoms (acute COVID Group), and a group of people who did not contract COVID‑19 (Control Group). One hundred and twenty adults in each of the three groups will be recruited and will take part in three evaluations within 6 months (baseline and 3 and 6 months after baseline). At baseline, all participants will complete questionnaires on sociodemographics, COVID symptomatology and comorbidity, and self-reported questionnaires on quality of life, functional status, sleep, pain-related disabilities, anxiety, depression, fatigue and cognitive function. Then, physical and cognitive tests will be performed in a laboratory to provide complementary results on impairments and functional limitations. Finally, participants will wear a fitness tracker watch to monitor their activity and sleep for 7 days. The participants will complete the same measures (questionnaires, lab measures, fitness tracker watch) at three and 6 months after baseline evaluations. This project will lead to a better understanding of the impairments/limitations experienced following COVID-19. Hence, these results will allow to identify the interventions needed by the population and ensure these are offered through effective healthcare pathways.