Connecting breath and mind for CYP with post-COVID syndrome

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Connecting breath and mind: Development of an online holistic treatment Programme connecting psychological wellbeing and breathing techniques in children and young people with post-COVID syndrome



  • Contact name

    Samatha Sonnappa

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 5 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    Estimates suggest at least one in 50 children and young people (CYP) develop persistent symptoms after confirmed SARS-CoV-2. Post-COVID syndrome (know as long COVID) diagnosis consensus is where one or more persistent physical symptoms occur 12-weeks after initial testing that cannot be explained by an alternative cause. CYP describe experiencing ongoing breathlessness, feelings of anxiety or low mood. This research project aims to co-develop a novel online programme to help improve breathing patterns and reduce anxiety for CYP living with post-COVID syndrome.

    Studies suggest 40% CYP with post-COVID syndrome develop breathlessness and a higher proportion may experience worries, sadness or unhappiness. These problems are often interconnected, and cause children to miss school and social activities – disconnecting them from their education and friends. This picture is complicated because some physical effects of stress and anxiety present as breathing difficulties – including breathlessness and chest pain, at rest or during exercise, are symptoms commonly experienced by those with post-COVID syndrome. Finding new ways to reduce breathlessness and anxiety associated with post-COVID syndrome in CYP is important, as these problems have a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

    Our goal is to develop an online treatment programme that can help improve breathing patterns and reduce anxiety in CYP with post-COVID syndrome, increasing confidence in their ability to return to their usual activities.

    The study will run a focus group to co-develop an online programme including breathing techniques, and ways to manage anxiety based on narrative therapy approach. We will recruit 40 children with post-COVID syndrome, aged 12 to 18 years who will be randomised to standard treatment or the online programme to assess the benefits of the programme compared to standard treatment. Participants will complete psychological wellbeing and quality-of-life questionnaires and breathing assessments. Participant feedback will be used to complete a process evaluation.

  • REC name

    Yorkshire & The Humber - Leeds East Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    16 Nov 2022

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion

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