Factors associated with prolonged hospitalization of patients with corona virus disease (COVID-19) in Uganda: a retrospective cohort study

Article Authors: Prossie M. Ingabire, Ritah Nantale, Quraish Sserwanja, Susan Nakireka, Milton W. Musaba, Asad Muyinda, Criscent Tumuhaise, Edith Namulema, Felix Bongomin, Agnes Napyo, Rozen Ainembabazi, Ronald Olum, Ian Munabi, Sarah Kiguli & David Mukunya


Introduction: Identification of factors predicting prolonged hospitalization of patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) guides the planning, care and flow of patients in the COVID-19 Treatment Units (CTUs). We determined the length of hospital stay and factors associated with prolonged hospitalization among patients with COVID-19 at six CTUs in Uganda.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients admitted with COVID-19 between January and December 2021 in six CTUs in Uganda. We conducted generalized linear regression models of the binomial family with a log link and robust variance estimation to estimate risk ratios of selected exposure variables and prolonged hospitalization (defined as a hospital stay for 14 days or more). We also conducted negative binomial regression models with robust variance to estimate the rate ratios between selected exposures and hospitalization duration.
Results: Data from 968 participants were analyzed. The median length of hospitalization was 5 (range: 1–89) days. A total of 136/968 (14.1%: 95% confidence interval (CI): 11.9–16.4%) patients had prolonged hospitalization. Hospitalization in a public facility (adjusted risk ratio (ARR) = 2.49, 95% CI: 1.65–3.76), critical COVID-19 severity scores (ARR = 3.24: 95% CI: 1.01–10.42), and malaria co-infection (adjusted incident rate ratio (AIRR) = 0.67: 95% CI: 0.55–0.83) were associated with prolonged hospitalization.
Conclusion: One out of seven COVID-19 patients had prolonged hospitalization. Healthcare providers in public health facilities should watch out for unnecessary hospitalization. We encourage screening for possible co-morbidities such as malaria among patients admitted for COVID-19.

Bibliographical metadata

Journal Tropical Medicine and Health
Volume 50
Issue No. 100
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s41182-022-00491-8
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