Lifestyle of non-hospitalized Long COVID patients Before and after COVID-19 infection [masterthesis]

Emmely Tapper*, Vera Verhage, Nienke Verheij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

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Background: Lifestyle-related diseases are characterized by low-grade inflammation and metabolic dysfunction. Low-grade inflammation is also thought to contribute to the development of Long COVID. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the discussion to prevent lifestyle-related diseases through lifestyle change has emerged frequently in the news. Lifestyle can be defined using the BRAVO themes: physical activity, smoking, alcohol, nutrition and relaxation. To date, there has been limited research on lifestyle in non-hospitalized Long COVID patients. This qualitative study aimed to examine the experiences regarding lifestyle of non-hospitalized Long COVID patients before and after their COVID-19 infection.

Method: A qualitative study was conducted using semi-structured interviews. Online interviews were held with five non-hospitalized Long COVID patients (two men, and three women; aged between 27 and 56 years). Interview questions were designed using the I-Change model. Verbatim transcripts were made and a thematic analysis was conducted.

Results: Four themes were derived from the I-Change model. Theme 1 describes the experiences of the participants regarding awareness of lifestyle. Theme 2 illustrates the experiences regarding motivation for a healthy lifestyle. Theme 3 highlights the experiences regarding healthy behavior (action). Theme 4 describes the experiences regarding information about a healthy lifestyle.

Conclusion: Based on the interviews, it can be concluded that lifestyle has changed in the participants after COVID-19 infection. On the one hand, some participants longed to change their lifestyles. On the other hand, participants did not manage to do so due to barriers and a lack of energy that were experienced by them and were often a result of Long COVID. Barriers influenced certain BRAVO lifestyle themes and thus prevented participants from executing lifestyle behaviors as before infection.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherScience Shop, University of Groningen
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2022

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