The importance of patient-partnered research in addressing long COVID: Takeaways for biomedical research study design from the RECOVER Initiative’s Mechanistic Pathways taskforce

C. Kim, Benjamin Chen, Sindhu Mohandas, Jalees Rehman, Zaki A. Sherif, K. Coombs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The NIH-funded RECOVER study is collecting clinical data on patients who experience a SARS-CoV-2 infection. As patient representatives of the RECOVER Initiative’s Mechanistic Pathways task force, we offer our perspectives on patient motivations for partnering with researchers to obtain results from mechanistic studies. We emphasize the challenges of balancing urgency with scientific rigor. We recognize the importance of such partnerships in addressing post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), which includes ‘long COVID,’ through contrasting objective and subjective narratives. Long COVID’s prevalence served as a call to action for patients like us to become actively involved in efforts to understand our condition. Patient-centered and patient-partnered research informs the balance between urgency and robust mechanistic research. Results from collaborating on protocol design, diverse patient inclusion, and awareness of community concerns establish a new precedent in biomedical research study design. With a public health matter as pressing as the long-term complications that can emerge after SARS-CoV-2 infection, considerate and equitable stakeholder involvement is essential to guiding seminal research. Discussions in the RECOVER Mechanistic Pathways task force gave rise to this commentary as well as other review articles on the current scientific understanding of PASC mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere86043
JournaleLife
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

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