Better rehabilitation for people with long-term corona complaints

More than 200,000 people in the Netherlands have persistent complaints after a COVID-19 infection. They rely on rehabilitation but its effectiveness is unknown. Moreover, patients are confronted with fragmentation in care lacking coordination and coherence. The PINCOR study (in Dutch: Persoonsgerichte, integrale nazorg COVID-19 in de regio) will be studying the effect of a person-centered, integrated approach for recovery of COVID-19 with coordination and cooperation of all disciplines involved within a Regional COVID-19 rehabilitation network. The patient defines treatment goals, together with the general practitioner, aiming at improving functioning and participation in society. Depending on the severity and complexity of the complaints, the patient is guided by the general practitioner (and possibly occupational physician), supplemented with mono- or interdisciplinary allied healthcare, specialized rehabilitation care or case manager from c-support.

The previously developed Referral Aid and Burden of Corona Tool is used for the design and monitoring of the personalized rehabilitation care. Focus groups with care providers and patients are used in the design of the care programs. Knowledge about the effect of existing rehabilitation programs is also incorporated.

The effect of person-oriented rehabilitation will be investigated in individual point of care studies. The assessment of the treatment is based on the extent to which the patient's goals are achieved. Participants keep a digital diary for monitoring the effects. At baseline and after 6 months, the quality of life, degree of participation in society, mental functioning, health care costs and absenteeism are measured with questionnaires. Data from the Long COVID Nivel study will be used in the evaluation of costs. The experiences of patients and healthcare providers within the regional COVID-19 Rehabilitation Network are evaluated in focus groups.

The project is a collaboration between the Department of Family Medicine (Jean Muris and Jako Burgers and colleagues) and the Department of Rehabilitation (Jeanine Verbunt and colleagues). Participating organisations are Adelante Zorggroep and Radboudumc. The Netherlands Patient Federation, Lung Fundation Netherlands and C-support are also involved in all phases of the project.

The project was awarded a grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) worth 500,000 euros. 

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