(HealthDay News) — An online, home-based group physical and mental health rehabilitation program improves health-related quality of life in adults with long COVID, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in The BMJ.

Gordon McGregor, PhD, from the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues evaluated whether a structured online supervised group physical and mental health rehabilitation program can improve health-related quality of life versus usual care in adults with post COVID-19 condition (long COVID). The analysis included 585 adults (26 to 86 years) previously hospitalized with COVID-19 who were randomly assigned to the Rehabilitation Exercise and psycholoGical support After covid-19 InfectioN (REGAIN) intervention (298 individuals) or usual care (287 individuals).

The researchers found that compared with usual care, the REGAIN intervention led to significant improvements in health-related quality of life at three months, driven predominantly by greater improvements in subscores for depression, fatigue and pain interference. Effects persisted at 12 months. Just under half of the intervention group (47%) fully adhered to the program, while 39% partially adhered and 13% did not receive the intervention.

“REGAIN is an accessible, resource-efficient program that can be delivered at scale, contributing to a reduction in the global burden of post-COVID-19 condition,” the authors write. ­

Abstract/Full Text