Pneumologische Rehabilitation im Antragsheilverfahren bei Long COVID: Eine vergleichende explorative Längsschnittstudie mit Long-COVID- und Asthma-/COPD-Rehabilitand*innen

Mercedes Rutsch, Per Otto Schüller, Heike Buhr-Schinner, Thomas Gross, Ruth Deck


BACKGROUND: For some COVID-19 patients, symptoms and health impairments persist for an extended period of time (long COVID). Long-term consequences of the disease can lead to permanent limitations in participatory life. In these cases, medical rehabilitation may be useful. Due to the novelty of the disease, little is known about the need for rehabilitation and therapy and the health benefits of specific rehabilitation interventions.

METHODS: A multicentre longitudinal observational study was conducted. Persons affected by long COVID (LC) between 18 and 65 years of age undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation were included. An age-matched comparison group (CG) consisted of rehabilitation patients with bronchial asthma and COPD. Written questionnaires were administered at the beginning and end of rehabilitation, as well as six and twelve months after rehabilitation. Outcomes included parameters of subjective health, occupational outcomes, contents of rehabilitation and rehabilitation aftercare.

RESULTS: The sample consisted of 305 participants, of whom 172 were classified as LC and 133 as CG. In the total sample, one third of the participants were male and the average age was 53 years. All rehabilitation participants had high health burdens, LC patients had statistically significantly higher impairments in almost all outcomes recorded. At the beginning of rehabilitation, one third of the respondents were on sick leave, more often in LC than in the CG. Twelve months after rehabilitation, both groups achieved significant health improvement, with LC showing greater improvements in most outcomes (interaction effect p<0.01). Despite success in most parameters, LC patients still showed persistent COVID symptoms at twelve months. One year after rehabilitation, 89% returned to work.

CONCLUSION: The majority of rehabilitation patients benefit greatly from pulmonary medical rehabilitation in terms of health and occupation. The content of pulmonary rehabilitation seems to be suitable for this indication group; however, there is an indication-specific use of therapy between CG and LC group. As a result, the LC group seems to need more and different therapies.

Titel in ÜbersetzungPneumological Rehabilitation in Long COVID - A Comparative Exploratory Longitudinal Study of Long COVID and Asthma/COPD Rehabilitees
ZeitschriftPneumologie (Stuttgart, Germany)
Seiten (von - bis)107-119
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 02.2024

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Profilbereich: Zentrum für Bevölkerungsmedizin und Versorgungsforschung (ZBV)


  • 205-02 Public Health, medizinische Versorgungsforschung, Sozialmedizin
  • 205-13 Pneumologie, Thoraxchirurgie


  • Forschung zu SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19