Definitions and models of care for long COVID remain unclear

Definitions and models of care for long COVID remain unclear


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A scoping review of 38 published articles related to the definition and care of long COVID found differences between reported definitions and models of care for the condition. The authors say that a standardized, valid, and reliable definition is needed to accurately identify patients with the condition and to develop and study the potential benefit of various long COVID models of care. The review is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers from Oregon Health & Science University studied reviews describing long COVID definitions or models of care to provide an overview of care models, including a proposed framework to describe and distinguish models. The authors found that five clinical definitions of long COVID varied with regard to timing since symptom onset and the minimum duration required for diagnosis; 1 additional definition was symptom score–based. The authors also evaluated the research to create a framework of care models. They identified 10 representative practice-based and 3 systems-based models of care using this method. In addition, many of the models managed care for either adults or children, and managed care for uninsured or underinsured patients but were not designed to do so. They note that given the high demand for long COVID care, models that increase capacity are a high priority. They also note that although integration of long COVID management into primary care is a potential strategy to increase capacity, challenges include the need to ensure appropriate training, increase primary care engagement, and ensure sufficient staff and specialist support.

Media contacts: For an embargoed PDF, please contact Angela Collom at [email protected]. To speak with the corresponding author, Roger Chou, MD, please contact [email protected]

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