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Prognosis and persistence of smell and taste dysfunction in patients with covid-19: meta-analysis with parametric cure modelling of recovery curves

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 09 August 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o1939

The insertion of a phrase in this paper by Tan and colleagues (BMJ 2022;378:e069503, doi:10.1136/bmj-2021-069503, published 27 July 2022) would have improved the understanding of the cohort’s status. In the fourth sentence of the results section of the abstract, fourth point of the What this study adds box, and second paragraph of the discussion section the phrase “with initial dysfunction” should have been inserted.

The abstract should have stated: Based on parametric cure modelling, persistent self-reported smell and taste dysfunction could develop in an estimated 5.6% (95% confidence interval 2.7% to 11.0%, I2=70%, τ2=0.756, 95% prediction interval 0.7% to 33.5%) and 4.4% (1.2% to 14.6%, I2=67%, τ2=0.684, 95% prediction interval 0.0% to 49.0%) of patients with initial dysfunction, respectively. The What this study adds box should have stated: Parametric cure models project that 5.6% and 4.4% of patients with initial dysfunction might develop long lasting self-reported smell and taste dysfunction post-covid-19, respectively. Finally, the discussion should have stated: On the basis of parametric cure models, persistent smell or taste dysfunction might develop in about 5% of patients with initial dysfunction.

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