This is a summary, written by members of the CITF Secretariat, of:

Bola R, Sutherland J, Murphy RA, Leeies M, Grant L, Hayward J, Archambault P, Graves L, Rose T, Hohl C. Patient-reported health outcomes of SARS-CoV-2–tested patients presenting to emergency departments: a propensity score–matched prospective cohort study. Public Health. February 2023. DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2022.11.016.

The results and/or conclusions contained in the research do not necessarily reflect the views of all CITF members.

In a CITF-funded study published in Public Health, Dr. Corinne Hohl (University of British Columbia) revealed that SARS-CoV-2–positive patients who presented to emergency departments reported similar physical health conditions 30 days after discharge, but substantially worse mental health after 30 days compared to their SARS-CoV-2-negative counterparts.

Physical health related to the patient’s perception of their general health, such as physical functioning, limitations, body aches and energy fatigue. Mental health referred to their perception of their social functioning and their own mental well-being.

Key messages:

  • Risk factors identified with poorer physical outcomes confirmed findings from similar studies. These risk factors included: illicit substance use, being female, or having complex comorbidities.
  • Risk factors identified with poorer mental health outcomes similarly included: illicit substance use and being female, as well as lower income, unstable housing, and having a history of mental illness or a severe disease.

This study is the first to compare physical and mental health outcomes of COVID-19 patients presenting to emergency departments with matched controls, while also identifying a wide range of associated risk factors. These findings can be used to guide the development of support programs for COVID-19 patients.

This study enrolled 4,886 patients participating in the Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network (CCEDRRN) between March 2020 and July 2021. The participants’ perceived quality of life was assessed through interviews conducted at least 30 days after discharge, using the Veterans RAND 12-item health survey. Based on the answers, physical health component score (PCS) and mental health component scores (MCS) were calculated to appraise physical and mental health, with higher scores indicating better self-reported health.