Content » Vol 52, Issue 5

Review article

Long-term clinical outcomes in survivors of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) outbreaks after hospitalisation or ICU admission: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Hassaan Ahmed, Kajal Patel, Darren C. Greenwood, Stephen Halpin, Penny Lewthwaite, Abayomi Salawu, Lorna Eyre, Andrew Breen, Rory O’Connor, Anthony Jones, Manoj Sivan
School of Medical Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2694

Abstract

Objective: To determine long-term clinical outcomes in survivors of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infections after hospitalization or intensive care unit admission.
Data sources: Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL Plus, and PsycINFO were searched.
Study selection: Original studies reporting clinical outcomes of adult SARS and MERS survivors 3 months after admission or 2 months after discharge were included.
Data extraction: Studies were graded using the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine 2009 Level of Evidence Tool. Meta-analysis was used to derive pooled estimates for prevalence/severity of outcomes up to 6 months after hospital discharge, and beyond 6 months after discharge.
Data synthesis: Of 1,169 identified studies, 28 were included in the analysis. Pooled analysis revealed that common complications up to 6 months after discharge were: impaired diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (prevalence 27%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 15–45%); and reduced exercise capacity (mean 6-min walking distance 461 m, CI 450–473 m). The prevalences of post-traumatic stress disorder (39%, 95% CI 31–47%), depression (33%, 95% CI 20–50%) and anxiety (30%, 95% CI 10–61) beyond 6 months after discharge were considerable. Low scores on Short-Form 36 were identified beyond 6 months after discharge.
Conclusion: Lung function abnormalities, psychological impairment and reduced exercise capacity were common in SARS and MERS survivors. Clinicians should anticipate and investigate similar long-term outcomes in COVID-19 survivors.

Lay Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are two previous viral infection outbreaks similar to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Studies that have looked at long-term health problems in survivors of these two outbreaks report reduced lung function and reduced ability to exercise in some survivors up to 6 months after discharge from hospital. Mental health problems including stress, an-xiety and depression were observed in up to one-third of survivors at 6 months and beyond. The quality of life was observed to be low even 12 months after discharge from the hospital. Rehabilitation clinicians and services should anticipate similar health problems in survivors of COVID-19, investigate them accordingly and plan suit-able and timely treatments to enable best possible recovery and quality of life for them.

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