Care Dependency in Non-Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19

Anouk W. Vaes*, Felipe V. C. Machado, Roy Meys, Jeannet M. Delbressine, Yvonne M. J. Goertz, Maarten Van Herck, Sarah Houben-Wilke, Frits M. E. Franssen, Herman Vijlbrief, Yvonne Spies, Alex J. Van't Hul, Chris Burtin, Daisy J. A. Janssen, Martijn A. Spruit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: A large sample of "mild" COVID-19 patients still experience multiple symptoms months after being infected. These persistent symptoms are associated with many clinically relevant outcomes, including poor health status and impaired functional status. To date, no information is available about care dependency. Therefore, we aimed to explore the level of care dependency and the need for assistance with personal care in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods: Members of two Facebook groups for COVID-19 patients with persistent complaints in The Netherlands and Belgium, and from a panel of people who registered at a website of the Lung Foundation Netherlands, were assessed for demographics, pre-existing comorbidities, health status, and symptoms. In addition, patients were asked about their dependence on others for personal care before and after the infection. The level of care dependency was assessed with the Care Dependency Scale (CDS) in members of the Belgian Facebook group (n= 210). Results: The data of 1837 non-hospitalized patients (86% women; median (IQR) age: 47 (38-54)) were analyzed. Only a small proportion of patients needed help with personal care before COVID-19, but the care need increased significantly after the infection (on average 79 +/- 17 days after the onset of symptoms; 7.7% versus 52.4%, respectively;p<0.05). The patients had a median (IQR) CDS score of 72 (67-75) points, and 31% of the patients were considered as care-dependent (CDS score

Original languageEnglish
Article number2946
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • COVID-19
  • care dependency
  • activities of daily living
  • COPD
  • LIFE
  • HOME

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