Last Updated : February 16, 2023
Three new reports from CADTH are bringing health care decision-makers valuable new insight on post–COVID-19 condition, also known as long COVID.
The reports include an environmental scan of specialized clinics and professional resources in Canada, an update of the evidence landscape for the treatment and management of post–COVID-19 condition, and an overview of emerging evidence on different subtypes of the condition.
CADTH’s environmental scan shows that, to date, 5 provinces have established or are establishing specialized clinics for post–COVID-19 condition, with other jurisdictions at various stages in their approach to addressing the condition. Additionally, the most common resources for health care professionals developed to date include referral pathways, tools for symptom screening and patient management, and educational resources.
CADTH’s report was informed through a targeted pan-Canadian survey and a limited literature search. It provides a much-needed inventory of information that can help jurisdictions learn from each other and scale and spread their planning efforts.
In an updated living rapid scoping review looking at the evidence landscape, CADTH found that most of the identified published research on treatment for post–COVID-19 condition focused on:
The review found little published evidence in areas relating to treatment and management for:
The scoping review includes primary studies, evidence syntheses, economic evaluations, and guidelines that followed up with participants of any age for at least 3 months after their diagnosis. Scoping reviews are key tools in evidence synthesis because they show how much evidence is available in a certain area and identify gaps where more research is needed.
CADTH has developed an interactive evidence map that summarizes key findings from the scoping review. The online map allows users to filter by category and directly access the included publications. More than 100 publications are represented in the evidence visualizations so far.
Long COVID presents clinically in several different ways and has been associated with more than 200 symptoms. This makes it challenging for clinicians to diagnose the condition and develop standards of care, and difficult for health systems to provide effective treatment and support.
CADTH’s Health Technology Review of subtypes of post–COVID-19 condition shows that studies are starting to reveal potential subtypes based on severity of symptoms, type of symptoms, and symptoms affecting different organ systems. Early findings around the variant of infection and its association with potential long COVID subtypes are mixed. Evidence in this area is in the early stages, and future research validating and assessing subtypes could help inform the design of treatments and models of care.
“Understanding the long-term impact of post–COVID-19 condition on the lives of people in Canada is essential for health care decision-makers. The latest reports from CADTH will help them understand the current state of the evidence and can help inform Canada’s broader, long-term research strategy for this evolving condition.”
Vice-President, Medical Devices and Clinical Interventions
CADTH is a not-for-profit organization responsible for providing Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs and medical devices in our health care system. CADTH receives funding from Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments, with the exception of Quebec.