Unravelling the Mystery of Long COVID: HIQA Reviews Potential Interventions

By Danélia Botes

July 31, 2023

HIQA continues to lead the charge in understanding and managing Long COVID. Their latest systematic review explores potential interventions aimed at improving the varied and often debilitating symptoms of this complex condition. While no definitive treatments have been identified yet, their research continue.

The review included 57 randomised controlled trials of interventions for adults with Long COVID symptoms, typically in people with less than a year’s duration and no pre-existing chronic illnesses. The studies varied in intervention type and were generally short-term, with small sample sizes and not enough focus on specific subpopulations like older adults or those with chronic conditions. There was also insufficient examination of intervention safety. The interventions proposed in this review for Long COVID symptoms lack sufficient evidence for their effectiveness. Personalised exercise and physiotherapy involving breathing exercises may have short-term benefits, but their long-term effects were not assessed. More research is needed to investigate the effectiveness and safety of other treatments, and a greater understanding of Long COVID’s pathophysiology could help design targeted interventions. In the absence of strong evidence, a holistic approach is recommended to support those living with Long COVID.

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