Background. As of May 16, 2016, 1388 cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) had been reported in Saudi Arabia with 43% mortality. While the clinical course of MERS-CoV patients has been described, data are lacking on the impact of MERS-CoV illness on quality of life among survivors.
Methods. We conducted a national cross sectional survey of patients with confirmed MERS-CoV who required hospitalization and survived. Following verbal informed consent, all participants were interviewed by telephone approximately one year after their MERS-CoV diagnosis. We used the Short-Form General Health Survey 36 (SF-36), an internationally recognized instrument, to assess 8 quality of life domains and compared the scoring to a sample of the Saudi general population.
Results. Of 168 MERS-CoV survivors with contact information available from the Ministry of Health, 70 were able to be contacted, and 58 were determined to be eligible to participate in the survey. Fifty four survivors (29.6% female) agreed to be interviewed. The mean age of survey participants was 46.15 years (SD 13.2). The mean time from MERS CoV illness onset to interview was 13.5 months (SD3.4). Twelve (22.2%) participants were health care workers at the time of MERS-CoV infection. Twenty seven survivors (50%) required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. The average physical component summary score for survivors was 47.52 (SD 9.19) where mental component summary score was 52.62 (SD 11.67). When compared with a sample (n = 170) of the Saudi general population, MERS-CoV survivors scored lower in the following domains, physical functioning (p = 0.001) and emotional role (p = 0.02). ICU patient survivors scored lower than non ICU survivors in the following SF-36 domains, general health (p = 0.002), vitality (p = 0.04) and emotional role (p = 0.002).
Conclusion. In this small cohort of MERS-CoV survivors in Saudi Arabia, those who recovered from critical illness reported lower quality of life issues such as decreased general health, vitality and emotional role compared to survivors of less severe illness. Further attention is needed to address the long-term medical and psychological needs of MERS-CoV survivors.
Disclosures. All authors: No reported disclosures.