An Australian Lung Foundation report has found that three in five people sought medical advice or treatment for ongoing Covid symptoms.
The report also found that half of the respondents experienced ongoing COVID-19 symptoms more than four weeks after testing positive.
In the survey, only three in five respondents (58%) had sought medical advice or treatment for ongoing symptoms. Of those who had, this advice was mainly being acquired from a general practitioner GP (65%), allied health professional (15%), psychologist or other mental health professional (8%) and pharmacist (8%). This means that 40% of respondents experiencing ongoing symptoms are not seeking medical advice or treatment. The true burden of people requiring support and care for ongoing symptoms, therefore, may be underestimated.
Almost one in two respondents with ongoing symptoms (44%) had a health professional refer to their ongoing symptoms as long COVID. A follow-up appointment with a GP was the most reported recommendation (49%) followed by medical tests or investigations (44%)(Refer to Figure 5). The information provided was noted as easy to understand by 55%, and provided verbally (48%).
However, less than one in three (27%) reported the information gave them confidence to manage their symptoms. Around one in ten of this group (12%) received information in writing to which they could later refer to.