Press release

Research to better support long-Covid patients in Scotland

Published on 4 March 2021

The University of Dundee has joined a cross-Scotland collaborative study that will investigate emerging models of rehabilitation for people suffering from long-Covid and recommend how to best maximise recovery and quality of life for patients.

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The University of Dundee has joined a cross-Scotland collaborative study that will investigate emerging models of rehabilitation for people suffering from long-Covid and recommend how to best maximise recovery and quality of life for patients.

For most people, symptoms of Covid-19 resolve after around 12 weeks. However, some patients experience symptoms that last longer or develop new symptoms, which can significantly impact on quality of life. Evidence is still emerging on the nature and extent of long-Covid, and how best to manage it.

The study, funded by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office, will be led by Robert Gordon University and the University of Stirling. Researchers will examine various models of community rehabilitation delivered by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other health professionals to find out what works for long-Covid patients under their individual circumstances.

The research will be undertaken in four health boards across Scotland (Ayrshire & Arran, Lanarkshire, Grampian and Tayside), but the research team will share emerging findings across the country to inform evidence-based action plans that will improve local long-Covid community rehabilitation services.

Dundee’s Dr Jacqui Morris and Professor James Chalmers are part of the cross-organisation research team.

“Long-Covid is emerging as a long-term, often debilitating condition that affects people in different ways, irrespective of the severity of the initial infection,” said Dr Morris, Reader in Rehabilitation and Health within Dundee’s School of Health Sciences.

“Fatigue, musculoskeletal problems such as joint pain, breathing difficulties and mental health problems are common. To support recovery, many people require careful assessment and individualised symptom management strategies, supported by appropriate multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams. 

“Long-Covid community rehabilitation services have evolved rapidly across the country to support people with the condition. However, we don’t yet know which delivery models work best and for whom. By systematically evaluating a range of services we will be able to determine optimal models for recovery for people with long-Covid, according to their circumstances and context. 

“The data we gather will enable us to develop blueprints to guide best practice for future service development across the whole of Scotland, as well as improving recovery and quality of life for people with this condition.”

The research will begin by evaluating the delivery and outcomes of different service models currently being used in Scotland to identify which are more suitable for various patient groups under differing contexts.

This project received £296,000 in funding through the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office’s Long-term effects of Covid-19 research funding call. A total of £2.5 million has been allocated to nine research projects that address key questions to increase the clinically relevant knowledge base on long-term effects of Covid-19 infection.

Enquiries

Grant Hill

Press Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768

G.Hill@dundee.ac.uk