Impact of Covid-19 on health-related quality of life of patients: A structured review

Ak Narayan Poudel, Shihua Zhu, Nicola Cooper, Paul Roderick, Nisreen Alwan, Carolyn Tarrant, Nida Ziauddeen, Guiqing Lily Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has led to a global pandemic since its emergence in December 2019. The majority of research into Covid-19 has focused on transmission, and mortality and morbidity associated with the virus. However, less attention has been given to its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients with Covid-19. Methods We searched for original studies published between December 2019 and Jan 2021 in PubMed, Scopus and Medline databases using a specific search strategy. We also explored literature on websites of distinguished public health organisations and hand-searched reference lists of eligible studies. The studies were screened by two reviewers according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) flowchart using pre-determined eligibility criteria. Data were synthesised, analysed descriptively and reported in line with PRISMA guidelines. Results In total, 1276 studies were identified through the search strategy. Of these, 77 studies were selected for full-text reading after screening the studies. After reading full-text, 12 eligible studies were included in this review. The majority of the studies used a generic HRQoL assessment tool; five studies used SF-36, five studies used EQ-5D-5L, and three used pulmonary disease-specific HRQoL tools (two studies used two tools each). The impact of Covid-19 on HRQoL was found to be considerable in both Acute Covid and Long Covid patients. Higher impact on HRQoL was reported in Acute Covid, females, older ages, patients with more severe disease and patients from low-income countries. Conclusion The impact of Covid-19 on HRQoL of Acute and Long Covid patients is substantial. There was disproportional impact on patients by gender, age, severity of illness and study country. The long-term impact of Covid-19 is still in its initial stage. The findings of the review may be useful to researchers, policymakers, and clinicians caring for people following Covid-19 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0259164
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


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