Darren A Brown, Kelly K O’Brien
Long COVID presents with multidimensional clusters of symptoms that can fluctuate, sometimes unpredictably, whereby symptoms adversely affect general well-being and ability to perform day-to-day activities, exercise or work.
We propose that Long COVID should be conceptualised as an episodic illness, characterised by health-related challenges (or disability) that may be multidimensional, episodic and unpredictable in nature.
Dimensions of disability experienced by people living with Long COVID may include physical, cognitive, mental and emotional health, daily activities, social inclusion and uncertainty, with uncertainty and worrying about the future a key dimension of disability.
The role for rehabilitation is important for people living with Long COVID, offering a goal-oriented, person-centred approach to prevent, mitigate and address episodic disability.
Future directions include establishing valid and reliable measures of episodic disability, assessing effectiveness of rehabilitation approaches and interventions and building on existing international collaborations and community-engaged partnerships to advance practice, research and policy.