Can a Health Package maintain the physical and mental health of people with and without COVID-19 during quarantine?

Ms Caoimhe Scales1, Dr Ling-Ling Tsai2,3, Sarah  Whitney2, Miranda  Shaw4, Dr Owen  Hutchings4, Dr Lissa  Spencer5, Dr Lil Vrklevski6, Dr Sharon Carey7, Prof Jennifer A Alison2,3

1Exercise Physiology, Special Health Accommodation, Sydney Local Health District, , Australia, 2Allied Health, Sydney Local Health District, , Australia, 3Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, , Australia, 4RPA Virtual Hospital (rpavirtual), Sydney Local Health District, , Australia, 5Physiotherapy, Sydney Local Health District, , Australia, 6Psychology, Sydney Local Health District, , Australia, 7Nutrition and Dietetics, Sydney Local Health District, , Australia

Background: People returning to Australia are required to quarantine in a hotel. This period of isolation may affect physical and mental health.

Aim: To evaluate the effects of a Health Package (HP) on physical and mental health of people with or without COVID-19 in quarantine.

Methods: Cohort study of people with mild COVID-19 symptoms and those without COVID-19 quarantined in hotel quarantine managed by rpavirtual, Sydney. After medical clearance,   consenting participants completed three surveys: (Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-21; Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI); EuroQol-5D-5L (EQ-5D). After at least seven days of the HP (consisting of individualised exercise program, anxiety management techniques and nutrition guide), participants repeated the surveys and a participant reported experience questionnaire (PREQ).

Results: Of 26 recruited, nine participants have completed (mean (SD) age 37 (12) years, 6 males). DASS-21: Depression Pre-HP 1.8 (2.4), Post-HP 2.8 (3.4); Anxiety Pre-HP 1.9 (2.2), Post-HP 1.4 (1.7); Stress Pre-HP 3.1 (2.8), Post-HP 2.8 (2.1); BFI: Pre-HP 2.1(1.4), Post-HP 2.2 (2.1); EQ-5D Visual Analogue Scale: Pre-HP 78 (19)%, Post-HP 79 (20)%. There were no significant pre-post changes in any outcomes. PREQ showed 88% always/mostly felt better post-exercise; 66% reported anxiety management and 67% reported nutritional information useful; 89% reported the HP helped them cope with isolation.

Conclusions and Clinical Implications: The HP for people in quarantine demonstrated stability of outcomes. The majority of participants reported that the HP helped them cope with isolation. Provision of a HP during quarantine could be useful to support physical and mental health. (The study is ongoing).


Caoimhe Scales is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with Sydney Local Health District (SLHD). For the last 12 months Caoimhe has been deployed within the SLHD Special Health Accommodation (COVID-19 Quarantine Hotels) and played a key role in developing the Allied Health and Exercise Physiology services onsite. She is also the Study Coordinator for the Health Package Study.

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