INVESTIGATING LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON RESPIRATORY FUNCTION: STRATEGIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND REHABILITATION OF POST-COVID-19 PULMONARY COMPLICATIONS

Main Article Content

Muhammad Awais
Anisa Khan
Irsa Sikandar
Muhammad Luqman
Arshad Ali
Muhammad Younas Ali
Naqeeb Ullah
Izaz Ahmad
Syed Nouman

Keywords

COVID-19, respiratory function, pulmonary complications, rehabilitation, management strategies

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to global public health, with emerging evidence indicating profound and enduring respiratory complications in survivors. Understanding and managing these post-COVID-19 pulmonary sequelae are crucial for optimal patient outcomes.


Research Objective: The research objective was to investigate the long-term effects of COVID-19 on respiratory function and explore strategies for the management and rehabilitation of post-COVID-19 pulmonary complications.


Methodology: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at MTI Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar - Pakistan, from May 2021 to October 2021 to assess Post-COVID-19 pulmonary complications. A total of 136 individuals who fulfilled the inclusion criteria of age ≥18 years, confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and post-recovery respiratory function evaluations were included in the research. These participants were recruited from the hospital's post-COVID-19 follow-up clinic. Descriptive statistics and t-tests were used in the statistical analysis to investigate relationships between clinical and demographic characteristics and respiratory outcomes.


Results: Among the comorbidities were diabetes (19.12%) and hypertension (23.53%). There was variation in the severity of the disease: 45.59% of patients had mild symptoms, 35.29% had moderate symptoms, and 19.12% had severe symptoms. The respiratory function measurements revealed a FEV1/FVC ratio of 0.83, a mean Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) of 3.2 liters, and a Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV1) of 2.8 liters. Notably, there were several pulmonary complications: 35.29% reported a chronic cough, 42.65% exertional dyspnea, and 17.65% pulmonary fibrosis. Relationships between age, gender, comorbidities, illness severity, and respiratory outcomes were shown by adjusted odds ratios. Pharmacological therapies included the use of bronchodilators (30.88%), antifibrotic drugs (10.29%), and corticosteroids (57.35%). The multimodal approach to addressing post-COVID-19 respiratory problems was emphasized by pulmonary rehabilitation therapies, which included exercise training (50.00%), respiratory muscle strengthening (33.82%), breathing techniques (23.53%), and education/counselling sessions (61.76%).


Conclusion: Our study emphasizes the significant impact of COVID-19 on respiratory function and highlights the importance of personalized management strategies and multidisciplinary approaches to optimize long-term outcomes for post-COVID-19 pulmonary complications.

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