The University of Birmingham has developed a tool that can assess the symptoms of Long COVID.

The tool, which has been created at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Patient-Reported Outcomes Research is a Symptom Burden Questionnaire for Long COVID and was developed with the help of patients who have experienced Long COVID.

Dr Sarah Hughes, Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, said: “People living with Long COVID say they experience a huge range of symptoms but getting these recognised by healthcare practitioners and policymakers has been a struggle. We designed and tested this tool with our patient partners to ensure it is as comprehensive as possible, while also not being burdensome for patients to complete.”

The Symptom Burden Questionnaire allows patients to report symptoms and will be used for research and clinical care. The data can then be used to help identify treatments, and test whether these are safe and effective.

Public partner Karen Matthews from Long COVID SOS noted: “I participated in a study quite early on in my condition and the questionnaire used didn’t capture the breadth of what I was feeling. Being able to shape something that could record that experience more effectively is worthwhile and I hope it gives researchers and people like me taking part in future studies some valuable evidence.”

There are currently more than 200 symptoms associated with Long COVID including breathlessness, fatigue, and brain fog. These symptoms can affect people for months after the original Coronavirus infection has gone and are estimated to affect around 1.3 million people in the UK.

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