INTRODUCTION: The characteristics and impact of mouthfeel, temperature, smell, and taste alterations in patients with COVID-19 at a long term are yet not well known. In this study, these characteristics and their impact on daily life and quality of life (QoL) were assessed, six to ten months after infection, in patients with COVID-19 searching for peer support on Facebook.
METHODS: Between December 2020 and January 2021, members of two COVID-19 Facebook groups were invited to complete a questionnaire. Participants were asked to report their perception of mouthfeel, temperature, smell, and taste alterations and their impact.
RESULTS: The questionnaire was completed by 157/216 respondents (73%), with 92% being women. Alterations in mouthfeel, temperature, smell, and taste were reported by respectively 66, 40, 148, and 133 participants. The most frequently reported mouthfeel alterations were "a different feeling" and "dry mouth" in 38 and 30 participants, respectively. Preferences for food temperature were equally changed to "freezing", "cool", "room temperature", "a bit warmer", and "warmer". An impact on daily life and QoL was reported by most patients with alterations in mouthfeel (91% and 79%), temperature (78% and 60%), smell (98% and 93%), and taste (93% and 88%), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with COVID-19 searching for peer support on Facebook experienced, next to smell and taste alterations, mouthfeel and temperature disturbances, six to ten months after infection. These alterations have an impact on daily life and QoL.
IMPLICATIONS: Health professionals should, next to smell and taste alterations, be aware of mouthfeel and temperature alterations in patients with COVID-19.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12078-022-09304-y.
- long term