Viruses (Jan 2023)

Subjective and Objective Cognitive Impairments in Non-Hospitalized Persons 9 Months after SARS-CoV-2 Infection

  • Inge Kirchberger,
  • Daniela Peilstöcker,
  • Tobias D. Warm,
  • Jakob Linseisen,
  • Alexander Hyhlik-Dürr,
  • Christine Meisinger,
  • Yvonne Goßlau

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 15, no. 1
p. 256


Read online

Studies on cognitive problems of persons with mild COVID-19 courses are still lacking. This study aimed to determine the frequency and associated factors of subjective and objective cognitive problems after COVID-19 in non-hospitalized persons. Study participants were examined at the University Hospital of Augsburg from 04/11/2020 to 26/05/2021. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) IV digit span, Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT), Regensburger verbal fluency test (RWT) and, subjective ratings of memory and concentration were applied. Of the 372 participants (mean age 46.8 ± 15.2 years, 54.3% women, median time after infection 9.1 months), 24.9% reported concentration and 21.9% memory problems. Overall, 55.6% of the participants had at least a mild negative alteration in any cognitive test. The strongest impairments were found regarding memory functions (41.1% mild alterations, 6.2% distinct impairments) and verbal fluency (12.4% mild alterations, 5.4% distinct impairments). SCWT showed negative alterations in no more than 3.0% of the participants. Level of school education, age, and depressiveness emerged as significantly related to the cognitive tests. The number of complaints and depressiveness were significantly associated with subjective memory and concentration problems. It is important to identify mild cognitive impairment in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients early to offer them effective interventions.