Data on SARS-CoV-2 recovery after hospitalization and results beyond 3 months follow-up are still sparse. The study’s goal was to assess the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection up to 6 months after admission, taking into account the recovery of pulmonary function and radiological abnormalities, physical and mental health status, and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL); and the predictors of the most clinically relevant sequelae. Patients were assessed with pulmonary function testing, radiographic evaluation, and online questionnaires on physical and mental health status, as well as HR-QoL, at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after hospitalization. Repeated measurements analyses were used to examine the outcomes. There were 92 patients in all, with an average age of 58.2±12.3 years and 58 (63.0%) men. The estimated percentage of patients with impaired FVC improved from 25% at 6 weeks to 11% at 6 months, whereas patients with inadequate diffusion capacity decreased from 63% to 46%. They reduced the amount of radiologically ground glass, but the fibrosis remained. Six months after discharge, most patients (89.1%) still had at least one symptom.
Over time, fatigue decreased significantly (p=0.006). Despite this, weariness was still prevalent in 51% of the patients at 6 months. Except for physical role functioning, HR-QoL (almost) normalized in most areas at 6 months, with chronic fatigue and length of hospitalization as the most relevant predictors. Most patients showed continued improvement across all health areas over the first 6 months after hospitalization for SARS-CoV-2, but chronic sequelae were common. Up to 6 months after hospitalization, fatigue was the most common residual and enduring symptom, significantly impacting HR-QoL.