Clinical standards for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of post-COVID-19 lung disease

D. Visca, R. Centis, E. Pontali, E. Zampogna, A. M. Russell, G. B. Migliori, C. Andrejak, M. Aro, H. Bayram, K. Berkani, J. Bruchfeld, J. M. Chakaya, J. Chorostowska-Wynimko, B. Crestani, M. P. Dalcolmo, L. D'Ambrosio, A. T. Dinh-Xuan, S. Duong-Quy, C. Fernandes, J. M. García-GarcíaA. de Melo Kawassaki, L. Carrozzi, M. A. Martinez-Garcia, P. Carreiro Martins, M. Mirsaeidi, Y. Mohammad, R. N. Naidoo, N. Neuparth, L. Sese, D. R. Silva, I. Solovic, T. M. Sooronbaev, A. Spanevello, N. Sverzellati, L. Tanno, S. Tiberi, T. Vasankari, E. Vasarmidi, M. Vitacca, I. Annesi-Maesano

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BACKGROUND: The aim of these clinical standards is to provide guidance on 'best practice' care for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of post-COVID-19 lung disease.METHODS: A panel of international experts representing scientific societies, associations and groups active in post-COVID-19 lung disease was identified; 45 completed a Delphi process. A 5-point Likert scale indicated level of agreement with the draft standards. The final version was approved by consensus (with 100% agreement).RESULTS: Four clinical standards were agreed for patients with a previous history of COVID-19: Standard 1, Patients with sequelae not explained by an alternative diagnosis should be evaluated for possible post-COVID-19 lung disease; Standard 2, Patients with lung function impairment, reduced exercise tolerance, reduced quality of life (QoL) or other relevant signs or ongoing symptoms ≥4 weeks after the onset of first symptoms should be evaluated for treatment and pulmonary rehabilitation (PR); Standard 3, The PR programme should be based on feasibility, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness criteria, organised according to local health services and tailored to an individual patient's needs; and Standard 4, Each patient undergoing and completing PR should be evaluated to determine its effectiveness and have access to a counselling/health education session.CONCLUSION: This is the first consensus-based set of clinical standards for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of post-COVID-19 lung disease. Our aim is to improve patient care and QoL by guiding clinicians, programme managers and public health officers in planning and implementing a PR programme to manage post-COVID-19 lung disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-741
Number of pages13
JournalThe international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


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