Research into the treatment and persistent complaints of COVID-19

€4.3 million was awarded for research into the treatment of COVID-19 and the complaints that many people still suffer from afterwards

ZonMw has committed a total of €4.3 million to research the treatment of COVID-19 and the complaints that many people still suffer from afterwards (Long COVID). The Department of Primary Care’s General Practice Research Group is a co-applicant for these research projects and will play an important role in this COVID research in the coming years. On these projects, Radboudumc’s General Practice Research Group works closely with other interested parties.

Research into effective early treatment of COVID
The research will be conducted by the seven departments of Dutch general practice, including the ELG research group at Radboudumc and Nivel. Henk Scherz and Tim Olde Hartmann co-submitted an application for this project, which will receive a support of three million euros. Old Hartmann: “Together with patient representatives and other stakeholders, we are looking for early treatment for COVID-19 that reduces duration of symptoms and/or hospitalization, especially for vulnerable groups. We will also consider home treatment options for patients with moderately ill COVID-19. Focus on improving coronavirus care in general practice and the overall infrastructure for research and knowledge sharing.”

Ongoing complaints after COVID-19
ZonMw awarded €750,000 for the study “Ongoing complaints after COVID-19: a perspective from population, patients and care”. Tim Olde Hartmann is one of the co-authors of this study, coordinated by Groningen.

After recovery from acute symptoms of COVID-19, a significant proportion of people still have physical, psychological, or cognitive complaints: the COVID lung. It is not clear what the causes and consequences of these complaints are for the individual and society and how health care can provide an answer. This research should result in practically applicable knowledge to improve the care of COVID lung patients. Old Hartmann: “We will contribute primarily to the development of a primary care pathway for patients with persistent complaints after COVID-19. We work with regional general practitioners, paramedics, and second- and third-line physicians.”

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More attention to vulnerable groups
Moreover, the research titled ‘Insight into persistent complaints after infection with Covid-19: a mixed methods approach’, received a subsidy of €560,000. This research, coordinated by NIVEL, focuses on the nature, extent, severity, duration and risk factors of persistent COVID-19 complaints. Further, pathology, recovery, aftercare and how they are experienced are examined. Particular attention is paid to vulnerable patient groups. The findings provide healthcare providers and patients with starting points for better support and early recognition of patients with persistent COVID-19 complaints. Together with Maastricht and Groningen, the General Practice Research Group provides data for this study, among others. Old Hartmann: “We will also interconnect the GP logging networks of NIVEL, Maastricht UMC, UMC Groningen and Radboudumc. This infrastructure will also provide great opportunities for all kinds of other future research.”

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Original title: Family Medicine investigates treatment and persistent complaints of COVID-19
the target audience: Health care professionals and students
Date: 2021-07-30

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