• Academy CME Gives Family Physicians Tools to Manage Long COVID

    Activity Emphasizes Role of Shared Decision-making in Patient Care

    June 1, 2023, News Staff — To help family physician manage the short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 and reduce its impact on health care disparities, the AAFP has created The EveryONE Project: COVID-19 and Health Equity, a free, enduring CME activity that is the cornerstone of an ongoing educational series.

    Physcian with patient

    The activity was made possible by an educational grant from Pfizer Inc. and gives FPs additional skills and knowledge to deliver optimal care through shared decision-making with patients.

    Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, more than 104 million cases of COVID-19 disease have been reported in the United States. Of those, the CDC estimates that between 10% and 25% infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus or its subvariants continue to experience symptoms four or more weeks after being infected.  These long-COVID symptoms can range from relatively mild conditions, such as cough and headache to severe complications that can affect a person’s cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, neurological and pulmonary systems.

    COVID-19 and Health Equity

    The activity consists of four recorded video sessions:

    • Introduction to Shared Decision Making
    • Decisions About COVID-19 Treatment — Patient Engagement
    • Treatment Options for Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19
    • Overview of Patient Safety Issues When Treating Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19

    It includes an eight-page download that covers key questions to ask during a visit, signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection, treatment options and more.

    The recorded format allows participants to view the sessions in the order and setting of their choice. The activity is worth up to 1.0 enduring materials, self-study AAFP Prescribed credits.

    Participants who complete the activity will be able to

    • Recognize the SARS-CoV-2 infectious lifecycle and the implications for relevant therapies.
    • Identify appropriate COVID-19 management strategies for patients experiencing short-term and
    • potential long-term impacts of COVID-19.
    • Consider underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and for therapeutic implications.
    • Evaluate the risks of COVID-19 comorbidities and establish plans for early disease management.
    • Identify strategies to partner with patients and communities to reduce the impact of COVID-19 health care disparities of minority and disadvantaged patients while advocating for structural change.
    • Develop a structure to appropriately coordinate care for patients with unmet medical needs with other specialties that account for barriers presented by COVID-19.

    More from the AAFP

    Members interested in this activity are encouraged to review related AAFP CME activities on health equity and COVID-19.

    The Academy offers a substantial set of resources on health equity, chief among them the Center for Diversity and Health Equity. The AAFP’s COVID-19 webpage also contains a wealth of fact sheets, guidance documents, practice management articles and more.