Cognitive and memory changes in COVID-19: Integrative Literature Review




Memory, Memory disorders, Cognition, Cognitive Dysfunction, COVID-19


COVID-19 is a disease with high worldwide prevalence, declared a pandemic in March 2020 by the WHO. In this context, it presents symptoms related to the respiratory, circulatory and cognitive systems. Cognitive alterations can be defined as deficits in attention, language and non-verbal learning, short-term and working memory, visual and auditory processing, problem solving and motor function. Despite the significant impact on patients' lifes, there is a lack of literature about these alterations; Goal The aim of this review was to analyze literary evidence on cognitive and memory alterations after COVID-19 infection; Method This is an Integrative Literature Review developed in six stages. The search was performed using the descriptors COVID-19, Memory, Memory Disorders, Cognition, and Cognitive Dysfunction, in the LILACS and MEDLINE databases. 2483 articles were found, 75 were read integrally and 27 qualitative and quantitative studies were included in this review. Inclusion criteria: primary studies in English, Portuguese and Spanish, published between 2019 and 2021 and that answered the research question. Exclusion criteria: reviews and opinion articles, dissertations, theses, editorials, books and conference proceedings.; Results Of the 27 articles selected, three analytical categories were evidenced: 1. Cognitive alterations - lack of attention, concentration and orientation, mental confusion, difficulties in finding words and mental slowness; 2. Memory alterations - impairment in short and long-term memory, verbal and working memory and coding deficit; and 3. Delirium - disturbances of attention and cognition fluctuation, not explained by pre-existing neurological disease sand Conclusions The qualitative research allowed the compilation of literary evidence that identified post-COVID-19 cognition and memory alterations, to a greater or lesser extent. The present result can support healthcare at this stage of the disease and new researches.


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How to Cite

Bianca Costa Dias, Larissa Canela Ruiz Evangelista, Guilherme Henrique Cardozo Mazer, Ana Carolina Paes de Figueiredo Ferraz, Vitória Colozio Tahan, & Elza de Fátima Ribeiro Higa. (2022). Cognitive and memory changes in COVID-19: Integrative Literature Review. New Trends in Qualitative Research, 13, e708.