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What is the impact of long-term COVID-19 on workers in healthcare settings? A rapid systematic review of current evidence.

Cruickshank, Moira; Brazzelli, Miriam; Manson, Paul; Torrance, Nicola; Grant, Aileen


Moira Cruickshank

Miriam Brazzelli

Paul Manson


Long COVID is a devastating, long-term, debilitating illness which disproportionately affects healthcare workers, due to the nature of their work. There is currently limited evidence specific to healthcare workers about the experience of living with Long COVID, or its prevalence, pattern of recovery or impact on healthcare. Our objective was to assess the effects of Long COVID among healthcare workers and its impact on health status, working lives, personal circumstances, and use of health service resources. We conducted a systematic rapid review according to current methodological standards and reported it in adherence to the PRISMA 2020 and ENTREQ statements. We searched relevant electronic databases and identified 3770 articles of which two studies providing qualitative evidence and 28 survey studies providing quantitative evidence were eligible. Thematic analysis of the two qualitative studies identified five themes: uncertainty about symptoms, difficulty accessing services, importance of being listened to and supported, patient versus professional identity and suggestions to improve communication and services for people with Long COVID. Common long-term symptoms in the survey studies included fatigue, headache, loss of taste and/or smell, breathlessness, dyspnoea, difficulty concentrating, depression and anxiety. Healthcare workers struggled with their dual identity (patient/doctor) and felt dismissed or not taken seriously by their doctors. Our findings are in line with those in the literature showing that there are barriers to healthcare professionals accessing healthcare and highlighting the challenges of receiving care due to their professional role. A more representative approach in Long COVID research is needed to reflect the diverse nature of healthcare staff and their occupations. This rapid review was conducted using robust methods with the codicil that the pace of research into Long COVID may mean relevant evidence was not identified


CRUICKSHANK, M., BRAZZELLI, M., MANSON, P., TORRANCE, N. and GRANT, A. 2024. What is the impact of long-term COVID-19 on workers in healthcare settings? A rapid systematic review of current evidence. PLoS one [online], 19(3), article number e0299743. Available from:

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Feb 11, 2024
Online Publication Date Mar 5, 2024
Publication Date Mar 31, 2024
Deposit Date Mar 11, 2024
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2024
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 3
Article Number e0299743
Keywords Myalgia; COVID-19; Fatigue; Physicians; Medical personnel; Dyspnea; Headaches; Abdominal pain
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Related Public URLs (Protocol) (Dataset associated with the journal article)


CRUICKSHANK 2024 What is the impact (VOR) (7.6 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
© 2024 Cruickshank et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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