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India-based physio Sundar Kumar Veluswamy to play key role in international long Covid study

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Clinicians and researchers based in India, the UK and the USA will collaborate in the trial

Power Diary 3rd May 2022
Power Diary 3rd May 2022

A physiotherapist and researcher based in Bengaluru in southern India is a key figure in an international study that aims to improve rehabilitation options for people affected by long Covid. More than 100 million people worldwide are said to experience problems after a Covid-19 infection, creating pressures on health services in countries around the world.

Sundar Kumar Veluswamy, an assistant professor in Ramaiah Medical College's physiotherapy department in Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore), helped to establish a multidisciplinary post-Covid clinic in September 2020.

‘We treated patients presenting with a myriad of symptoms including elevated resting heart rate, persistent fatigue, reduced muscle strength and functional capacity that eventually affected the individual’s participation in their daily routine and overall quality of life.’

Dr Veluswamy noted: ‘The progression of these symptoms and the mechanisms of recovery are still not clearly understood. Our project, with its robust methods and international representation, will provide an in-depth understanding of the determinants of recovery and aid in the development of tailor-made intervention pathways.’

Other collaborators

Dr Veluswamy will be working alongside researchers based at the University of Derby, King’s College London, Sheffield Hallam University’s advanced wellbeing research centre and the University of Illinois Chicago.

Our project, with its robust methods and international representation, will provide an in-depth understanding of the determinants of recovery and aid in the development of tailor-made intervention pathways [Sundar Kumar Veluswamy]

The NHS Health Research Authority is sponsoring the study, as is a US-based programme, titled Gilead Covid-19:COMMIT (Covid-19 unMet MedIcal needs and associated research exTension). All the partner institutions are connected to a local hospital and have a dedicated research facility. The 16-week trial profiles the recovery of patients who have been discharged into the local community from hospitals or been referred to long Covid centres.

Data will be gathered using physiological, biological and psychological tests and observations through regular patient visits, remote meetings and patient journals. The study aims to understand more about long-Covid and develop clear support pathways to improve long-term health outcomes and restore quality of life for patients.

Millions affected

Mark Faghy, an associate professor in respiratory physiology at the University of Derby, said: ‘Long Covid has left millions of people unable to do the things they once loved. Everyday activities and work, the things we all probably take for granted, have become much more challenging and this impacts their quality of life drastically.

‘With the threat of sustained transmission, infections and future Covid-19 variants, there is an urgent need to support patients with optimised and informed rehabilitation strategies to support them in the post-Covid period and reduce the substantial co-morbidities associated with long-Covid.

‘To date, there is little data that has profiled the time and determinants of a successful recovery in the post-Covid-19 period. Here we have a collaboration between clinical and non-clinical partners that will enable us to share expertise in this field and rethink how we establish the support needed.'

Dr Faghy added: ‘This project will reveal whole patient perspectives that contain multi-method methodologies and objective analysis to document symptom profiles. This will enable us to create tailored mechanisms of support for patients recovering in community settings and give patients suffering with the long-term impact of Covid-19 their quality of life back.’

Source: https://www.derby.ac.uk/news/2022/international-trial-aims-to-improve-the-quality-of-life-for-long-covid-patients/

For more information about the study, visit: https://www.hra.nhs.uk/planning-and-improving-research/application-summaries/research-summaries/profiling-recovery-of-those-discharged-into-the-community-with-covid19/

Power Diary 3rd May 2022
Power Diary 3rd May 2022
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