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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Persistent Somatic Symptom Burden and Sleep Disturbance in Patients with COVID-19 During Hospitalization and After Discharge: A Prospective Cohort Study

Shujie Huang, Weitao Zhuang, Dongya Wang, Lulu Zha, Xi Xu, Xiangdong Li, Qiuling Shi, Xin Shelley Wang, Guibin Qiao

(Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e930447

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.930447

BACKGROUND: The present study was designed to reveal the trajectory of self-reported somatic symptom burden and sleep quality over time in patients with COVID-19 and to identify prognostic factors for greater somatic symptom burden and sleep disturbance.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Seventy-four patients with COVID-19 were prospectively followed for longitudinal assessment of somatic symptom burden and sleep quality. We used the 8-item Somatic Symptom Scale (SSS-8) and the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scale for somatic symptom burden and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index for sleep quality investigation. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify independent factors associated with somatic symptom burden and sleep quality.
RESULTS: Although the degree of physical discomfort and sleep quality issues tended to decline during self-quarantine, patients still experienced these problems to a certain degree. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that SSS-8 scores at admission (relative risk [RR] 1.234, 95% CI 1.075-1.417, P=0.003) and mMRC scores at discharge (RR 2.420, 95% CI 1.251-4.682, P=0.009) were 2 independent prognostic indicators of somatic symptom burden. In addition, muscle pain as a chief complaint (RR 4.682, 95% CI 1.247-17.580, P<0.022) and history of use of hypnotic drugs (RR 0.148, 95% CI 0.029-0.749, P<0.019) were 2 independent indicators of patient sleep quality during hospitalization.
CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, the present study was the first dynamic assessment of the somatic symptom burden and sleep quality in patients with COVID-19 during hospitalization and quarantine after discharge. Patients with high somatic symptom burden at admission, especially muscle pain as the chief complaint, are prone to having a higher physical burden and more sleep disturbance at discharge.

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