Prevalence, pathophysiology, prediction and health-related quality of life of long COVID: study protocol of the longitudinal multiple cohort CORona Follow Up (CORFU) study

Chahinda Ghossein-Doha, Marieke S.J.N. Wintjens, Emma B.N.J. Janssen, Dorthe Klein, Stella C.M. Heemskerk, Folkert W. Asselbergs, Erwin Birnie, Gouke J. Bonsel, Bas C.T. van Bussel, Jochen W.L. Cals, Hugo Ten Cate, Juanita Haagsma, Bena Hemmen, Iwan C.C. van der Horst, Bastiaan L.J.H. Kietselaer, Frederikus A. Klok, Martijn D. de Kruif, Marijke Linschoten, Susanne van Santen, Kevin VernooyLoes H. Willems, Rosa Westerborg, Michiel Warle, Sander M.J. van Kuijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

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INTRODUCTION: The variety, time patterns and long-term prognosis of persistent COVID-19 symptoms (long COVID-19) in patients who suffered from mild to severe acute COVID-19 are incompletely understood. Cohort studies will be combined to describe the prevalence of long COVID-19 symptoms, and to explore the pathophysiological mechanisms and impact on health-related quality of life. A prediction model for long COVID-19 will be developed and internally validated to guide care in future patients. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Data from seven COVID-19 cohorts will be aggregated in the longitudinal multiple cohort CORona Follow Up (CORFU) study. CORFU includes Dutch patients who suffered from COVID-19 at home, were hospitalised without or with intensive care unit treatment, needed inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation and controls who did not suffer from COVID-19. Individual cohort study designs were aligned and follow-up has been synchronised. Cohort participants will be followed up for a maximum of 24 months after acute infection. Next to the clinical characteristics measured in individual cohorts, the CORFU questionnaire on long COVID-19 outcomes and determinants will be administered digitally at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after the infection. The primary outcome is the prevalence of long COVID-19 symptoms up to 2 years after acute infection. Secondary outcomes are health-related quality of life (eg, EQ-5D), physical functioning, and the prevalence of thromboembolic complications, respiratory complications, cardiovascular diseases and endothelial dysfunction. A prediction model and a patient platform prototype will be developed. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approval was obtained from the medical research ethics committee of Maastricht University Medical Center+ and Maastricht University (METC 2021-2990) and local committees of the participating cohorts. The project is supported by ZonMW and EuroQol Research Foundation. Results will be published in open access peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at (inter)national conferences. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT05240742.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere065142
Pages (from-to)e065142
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

This work is supported by The Netherlands Organization for Health
Research and Development (ZonMW), grant number 10430302110005, and an
unrestricted grant has been received from the EuroQol Research Foundation.
Individual COVID-19 cohorts contributing to the CORFU study may have been
funded independently from this grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


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