“Structural Survey of Complaints and Their Causes”
According to Maastricht UMC+, in order for persistent complaints to be recognized and properly addressed after infection with COVID-19, it is necessary to identify these complaints and their causes in an orderly manner.
It is now clear that ‘Long COVID’, the totality of persistent complaints after contracting COVID-19 infection, is a common problem that has a significant impact on the quality of life of the people who suffer from it.
CORFU . Study
However, the mechanism underlying the development of COVID is not yet sufficiently clear to be able to predict complaints, make early diagnosis and be able to treat them in a targeted manner. That’s why Maastricht UMC+ has taken the CORFU (Corona Follow-up Study) study initiative, in which data from seven studies were collected together.
This gives researchers a wealth of data on more than 10,000 people who have been exposed to infection, from the mild form to admission to intensive care. Within the study, researchers from MUMC+ work closely with the EuroQol Foundation, Zuyderland Medical Center and Adelante and with researchers from the academic centers in Utrecht, Nijmegen and Leiden.
In addition to weighing and integrating data from the seven studies, former patients in this study are given a questionnaire about issues such as complaints, quality of life, and participation in specific moments after injury. In addition to the medical aspects, this questionnaire can also be used to map psychological factors. After all, the longer the disease is delayed, the greater the influence of psychological factors on the quality of life. This questionnaire was developed jointly with the EuroQol Foundation, which will also develop the patient platform. On this platform, patients can consult their answers in a simple way – via a single login – and follow the progress of complaints.
Covid lung disease disintegration
Using this data, researchers hope to be able to detect prolonged COVID. ‘We know very little about Covid lung disease,’ said lead researcher and clinical epidemiologist Sander van Kuijk. It is not easy to analyze complaints. For example: there are people who have become seriously ill without persistent complaints afterwards. But there are also people with severe and persistent complaints, who have experienced very little from COVID-19 itself. Project Leader and Trainee Cardiologist Shahinda Ghossein-Doha: “We can use the data to analyze factors that contribute to persistent complaints, such as cardiac causes, clotting factors, or psychological causes.”
Data analysis also helps to develop a “prediction model”. This is a model that can be used, for example, on the basis of patient characteristics or the type of complaints, to predict whether and what persistent complaints a person will have. This will aid in early diagnosis and monitoring, and provide starting points for treating COVID-19 lung disease.
The CORFU study is funded by ZonMw’s COVID-19 Program. ZonMw stands for good health, prevention and care for all, and the vulnerable in particular. Through the COVID-19 Program, ZonMw contributes to research to combat the Corona pandemic and prevent or reduce the negative effects of measures. With its partners, ZonMw creates insights into the (global) social dynamics during and after these far-reaching and comparative health crises and the measures taken against them. More information can be found at www.zonmw.nl/coronaonderzoek.
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