June saw four new articles enter into the top ten most read, including the number one spot.
The impact of fatigue in long COVID
Our most read article of June reports the results of a study evaluating the characteristics and symptoms of treatment-seeking in patients with ‘long COVID’ (Walker et al.). The impact of symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and patients’ ability to work and undertake activities of daily living was also assessed. Using data collected from 3754 adults attending 31 post-COVID-19 clinics in the UK, the investigators found a high proportion of the treatment-seeking population to be of working age, experiencing significant levels of functional impairment, and low HRQoL. Fatigue was the dominant symptom explaining variation in functionality, limiting patients’ ability to work and care for others.
Hydroxychloroquine as pre-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19 in Healthcare Workers (HCW)
Our second new entry into the top 10 most read is a meta-analysis of the safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as pre-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19 in healthcare workers (Hong et al.). The authors explain that while there are published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of HCQ for the treatment of COVID-19 in the inpatient and outpatient settings (reporting no benefit), there is a lack of adequately powered RCTs of HCQ for the pre-exposure prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This meta-analysis of 10 RCTs finds that, compared with placebo, HCQ does not significantly reduce the risk of confirmed or clinically suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection and significantly increases adverse events.
Development of a rurality index for healthcare research and a new patient decision aid for Achilles tendon rupture management
Our last two new entries both present the development of a new tool. The first is a rurality Index for Japan (RIJ) for healthcare research (Kaneko et al.). The RIJ is designed to enable healthcare policymakers and researchers to use a single, consistent operational definition and gradient of rurality to assess rural–urban healthcare disparities and identify rural regions in need of appropriate healthcare services. The second tool is a patient decision aid designed to capture the benefits and harms of non-surgical management and surgery for Achilles tendon ruptures (Gan et al.). The authors found the tool to be acceptable to both patients and health professionals and recommended an RCT to evaluate the impact of the tool on those considering Achilles tendon surgery.
Below are the top ten most-read papers in BMJ Open during June 2023:
*Most read figures are based on pdf downloads and full text views. Abstract views are excluded.