C. E. Green1, J. S. Leeds2, C. M. Leeds1, A. Thacker2, V. Archibald1

1Occupational Health Department, County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust, Bishop Auckland Hospital, UK

2Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, UK



The occupational effects of post-COVID syndrome have not been evaluated.


The aim of this study was to examine the effect of post-COVID syndrome on work.


Patients were assessed by a multidisciplinary team. Demographics, occupation (Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) index), symptoms, function, current working status and quality of life were recorded. Analysis compared those: working without adjustments (group 1),  struggling at work (group 2) and not working due to symptoms (group 3).


214 patients (mean age 49.3, 79 males, median 209 days since infection) were included. 74.8% had persistent respiratory symptoms, 78.5% cardiac symptoms, 50.5% GI symptoms and 84.1% disturbed sleep. There were no significant differences in age or sex distribution, respiratory, cardiac, GI, sleep symptoms, median physical strength scores or muscle aching scores between the groups. Group 3 reported significantly higher fatigue scores (p=0.007) and a higher rate of feeling more limited compared to groups 1 and 2 (p=0.002). Group 3 also reported a significantly higher rate of perceiving the need for additional support compared to group 2 (p=0.015) and group 1 (p=0.024). EQ5D5L scores were significantly lower in group 3 compared to groups 1 and 2 (p=0.004). There were no differences in ability to work or EQ5D5L scores when comparing SOC codes.


Around 1 in 5 patients maintained work without adjustments and about one third were unable to work. Those unable to work had higher fatigue scores, lower quality of life scores and perceived a greater need for support at work.



Scroll to top