OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the respiratory and physical functions of patients who retested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA during post-COVID-19 rehabilitation .
METHODS: A total of 302 discharged COVID-19 patients were included . Discharged patients were followed up for 14 days to 6 months . The modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) dyspnea scale, Borg rating of perceived exertion, and manual muscle testing (MMT) scores on day 14 and at 6 months after discharge were compared between the re-detectable positive (RP) and non-RP (NRP) groups . Prognoses of respiratory and physical functions were compared between patients who recovered from moderate and severe COVID-19 .
RESULTS: Of the patients , 7.6% were RP . The proportion of patients who used antiviral drugs was significantly lower in the RP group than in the NRP group . There were no differences in the mMRC, Borg, and MMT scores within the RP group and the NRP group . The mMRC, Borg, and MMT scores were worse for severe-type cases than for moderate-type cases at both follow-ups .
CONCLUSION: COVID-19 patients who did not take antiviral drugs were more likely to be RP after discharge . However, respiratory and physical function recovery were not related to re-positivity during rehabilitation but to disease severity during hospitalization.