Longitudinal assessment of health and quality of life of covid-19 patients requiring intensive care—an observational study

Johanna Erber, Johannes R. Wießner, Gregor S. Zimmermann, Petra Barthel, Egon Burian, Fabian Lohöfer, Eimo Martens, Hrvoje Mijočević, Sebastian Rasch, Roland M. Schmid, Christoph D. Spinner, Rickmer Braren, Jochen Schneider, Tobias Lahmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Long-term health consequences in survivors of severe COVID-19 remain unclear. Eighteen COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit at the University Hospital Rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany, between 14 March and 23 June 2020, were prospectively followed-up at a median of 36, 75.5, 122 and 222 days after discharge. The health-related quality of life (HrQoL) (36-item Short Form Health Survey and St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, SGRQ), cardiopulmonary function, laboratory parameters and chest imaging were assessed longitudinally. The HrQoL assessment revealed a reduced physical functioning, as well as increased SGRQ impact and symptoms scores that all improved over time but remained markedly impaired compared to the reference groups. The median radiological severity scores significantly declined; persistent abnormalities were found in 33.3% of the patients on follow-up. A reduced diffusion capacity was the most common abnormal pulmonary function parameter. The length of hospitalization correlated with role limitations due to physical problems, the SGRQ symptom and the impact score. In conclusion, in survivors of severe COVID-19, the pulmonary function and symptoms improve over time, but impairments in their physical function and diffusion capacity can persist over months. Longer follow-up studies with larger cohorts will be necessary to comprehensively characterize long-term sequelae upon severe COVID-19 and to identify patients at risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5469
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19 sequelae
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Long-term health consequences
  • Pulmonary function test
  • SARS-CoV-2


Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal assessment of health and quality of life of covid-19 patients requiring intensive care—an observational study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this