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Living and Coping with Olfactory and Taste Disorders: A Qualitative Study of People with Long-COVID-19

Healthcare (Basel). 2024 Mar 30;12(7):754. doi: 10.3390/healthcare12070754.


Taste and smell disorders are common symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 acute infection. In post-COVID-19 condition, symptoms can persist leading to disruption in patients’ lives, to changes in their coping skills, and to the need to develop strategies for everyday life. This study aimed to describe the perspective of a group of patients with Long-COVID-19, a condition where loss of taste and/or smell was the most predominant symptom. A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. Participants who had suffered SARS-CoV-2 infection and had Long-COVID-19 loss of taste and/or smell were recruited. Purposive sampling was applied, and participants were recruited until data redundancy was reached. In-depth interviews were used for data collection and thematic analysis was applied. Twelve COVID-19 survivors (75% women) were recruited. The mean age of the participants was 55 years, and the mean duration of post-COVID-19 symptoms was 25 months. Three themes were identified: (a) Living with taste and smell disorders, describing the disorders they experience on a daily basis, how their life has changed and the accompanying emotions, (b) Changes and challenges resulting from the loss of taste and smell, changes in habits, self-care and risk in certain jobs or daily activities, (c) Coping with taste and smell disorders, describing the daily strategies used and the health care received. In conclusion, Long-COVID-19 taste and/or smell disorders limit daily life and involve changes in habits, meal preparation, and the ability to detect potentially dangerous situations.

PMID:38610176 | DOI:10.3390/healthcare12070754


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