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Clinical findings post hospital discharge in patients with covid-19: A telephone interview study

MOJ Public Health
Marlon Oliva, Renu Joy, RuheeGadhia, EjiroGbaje, Nora V. Bergasa, Jonna Mercado

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Importance:Active COVID-19 symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, fever, sore throat and others are well established. However, there is limited information on the persistence of symptoms post infection.
Objective:To identify the post discharge symptoms amongst adult patients discharged from the hospital after having been hospitalized and treated for COVID-19 from March to the end of May of 2020.
Design, setting, and participants:Adult patients discharged from the hospital after admission for COVID-19 infection were contacted via a telephone encounter as a post-discharge follow-up, which ranged from 9 to 92 days with an average of 57 days post discharge. A standardized questionnaire was used during post discharge telephone encounter for the patients to assess presence or absence of symptoms following discharge.
Main outcomes and measures:Chi-square statistics were used to calculate unadjusted associations between predictors and the symptom status outcome, and Fisher’s exact
statistic was used in the case of rare events/low cell counts. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine any association between the predictors and the outcome of still being symptomatic versus having improved symptoms at follow-up date. Firth’s logistic regression was applied to the analysis in order to handle sample bias as well as low cell counts.
Results:Out of the 337 patients who were discharged after COVID-19 hospitalization, 180 had successful post discharge telephone encounters. The majorities of the patients were male, 108 (60%) and belonged to the age group, 35-64 years. Out of 180 patients, 151 (83.88%) were asymptomatic and 29 (16.11%) were still symptomatic. Of the 29
symptomatic patients, the most common symptoms reported were persistent fever, 19
(65.52%), shortness of breath, 19 (65.52%) and cough, 25 (86.21%).
Conclusion and relevance:The majority of patients discharged from the hospital where they had been attended for COVID-19 were asymptomatic post discharge. Our study identified that a proportion of patients could remain symptomatic after COVID 19 hospitalization. The importance of follow up post hospital discharge is highlighted in this study.


symptoms, COVID-19, patients, hospital, discharge