Managing the long-term effects of COVID-19
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND CARE EXCELLENCE (NICE).
The findings in a nutshell
NICE developed rapid guidelines on identifying, assessment and managing the long-term effects of COVID-19, commonly known as “long COVID”. Long COVID refers to symptoms that persist longer than four weeks.
Education, identification and, timely referrals at the early stages of symptoms are recommended for clinicians to address. When managing patients with long COVID, a multidisciplinary rehabilitation approach is recommended. The rehabilitation plan includes physical, psychological, and psychiatric pathways. The main goal of rehabilitation is to return to life, involving a return to work in a phased approach.
Overview of the paper
The purpose of the guidelines is to guide clinicians in identifying, assessing, and managing the long-term effects of COVID-19. It was made clear that there is no clear treatment pathway or definition for the long-term effects of COVID-19 so, the guideline will continue to evolve as evidence becomes readily available.
The guidelines help treating practitioners to appropriately educate, identify symptoms and refer in line with their recommendations. Both self-management and self supported management plans are recommended, in line with the severity of their symptoms. A multidisciplinary rehabilitation approach is required for patients presenting with ongoing and persistent symptoms of COVID-19. To ensure all areas of treatment are covered. The multidisciplinary approach should address the physical, neuropsychological, and psychiatric aspects of rehabilitation.
Implications for Australian workplaces
Within the NICE Guidelines, it is clear a return to work is recommended, following long and persistent COVID-19 symptoms. There should be open communication between employers and their staff who have COVID-19. Ensuring the staff member feels supported is important. When the clinician certifies the staff member is fit for a return to work, the employers must develop a graded return to work plan. These plans are to be medically guided and adjusted accordingly, to ensure a safe and sustainable return to work.
To find out more about COVID-19 rapid guideline – Managing the long-term effects of COVID-19 read the full article here.
Date published: December 2020