On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) inaugurated a new initiative entitled Post-COVID Core Outcome Set (PC-COS), an international consensus study, wherein post-COVID condition affectees comprising carers, family members, health professionals, individuals with lived experience, policymakers, and researchers will come together for the development of a ‘core outcome set’ (COS), a standardized set of outcomes, to be evaluated in all clinical practice and research studies pertaining to individuals with post-COVID condition.
The PC-COS initiative will commence with surveying individuals with lived experience of post-COVID condition. The focal point of the first phase of the PC-COS initiative, scheduled to be completed in 2021, will be the outcomes to be measured. The focus of attention during the second phase of the PC-COS initiative, scheduled to be completed in 2022, will be to figure out how to measure the outcomes. The Delphi method will be employed for the evaluation of participants' views so as to reach consensus on the cardinal outcomes. 12 countries, 46 health professionals, 3 individuals with post-COVID condition and 4 international societies are involved in the PC-COS initiative at the moment.
The conception of PC-COS was actuated by profound solicitude apropos of the unascertained numbers of individuals suffering with post-COVID condition. The ISARIC, a global federation of clinical research networks, has referred to the post-COVID condition as an "emerging global healthcare crisis." The WHO has advised individuals suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19 to seek medical help. Maria DeJoseph Van Kerkhove, WHO's COVID-19 Technical Lead, said: "This post-Covid syndrome, or Long Covid, is something that WHO is deeply concerned about." The WHO has been "making sure that we have recognition of this, because this is real." Amongst the individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus engendering COVID-19, "many are suffering from long term effects. […] We don't know for how long these effects last and we're even working on a case definition to better understand and describe what this post-Covid syndrome is." The WHO has been working on comprehensive research in the quest for “a better understanding of what the syndrome is and how it can be managed” and devising rehabilitation programmes for individuals with post-COVID condition.
The ISARIC said: Notwithstanding a "significant portion" of the COVID-19 patients suffer from post-COVID condition, “the evidence for this condition is limited and based on small patient cohorts with short-term follow-up. […] There is an urgent need for the development of a COS to optimize and standardize clinical data collection and reporting across studies (especially clinical trials) and clinical practice for this condition."