An Israeli study, which is the first of its kind, discovered that millions of people all over the world have had their sense of wellbeing shaken seriously due to long COVID.
Headed by Bar Ilan University, a research team worked with hospitals in northern Israel for carrying out the study and found that there is almost a 10% reduction in the sense of wellbeing of people due to just one long COVID symptom.
Even though it has become quite common to see symptoms of COVID-19 linger after people have been infected with the virus, there is not a lot of research done on long COVID.
Therefore, there is not much information available about how challenging it can be for the wellbeing of people, or if it is just a bearable discomfort.
A well-established questionnaire was used by the new study that had been developed by the World Health Organization for subjective wellbeing.
It discovered that with each symptom that people experienced, they saw their sense of wellbeing decline further.
There are three symptoms that have been found to be common in those who suffer long COVID and those who suffered them saw a 30% reduced sense of wellbeing, as compared to people of the same social demographic and age who did not suffer from long COVID.
Prof. Michael Edelstein, the lead author of the study, said that if people lose a third of their sense of wellbeing because of the symptoms of long COVID, then it shows that it is having a profound and sustained impact on the wellbeing of people all over the world.
He said that the most important takeaway was that it was not just about the symptoms that people experience, but the impact they have on wellbeing and life.
The authors said that to their knowledge, this was the first study of its kind that focused on the impact of the commonly reported long COVID symptoms on the subjective wellbeing.
There were also some positives, as the study showed that physical symptoms do not have a long-lasting impact on wellbeing.
12 months after infection, there were no signs of significant harm discovered by researchers to wellbeing due to physical symptoms like muscle pain and weakness.
The study has already been published online, but it is still being peer-reviewed and it involved 2,295 people out of which 576 people had been infected with COVID-19.
The researchers studied the people between 3 to 18 months after infection and discovered that there was an 11.5% reduction in sense of wellbeing due to sleep disorders.
A 10.7% reduction was seen because of lack of concentration and confusion and 7.7% due to fatigue. According to Edelstein, it is difficult to calculate the exact sense of wellbeing.
Nonetheless, the statistics show that it is being seriously harmed and show that health authorities all over the globe are facing multi-faceted challenges due to long COVID.
He said that these do not just include physical impacts, but also those on mental health.