Telerehabilitation for Post-Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Proof-of-Concept Study During a Pandemic
Purpose: Telerehabilitation could prevent sequelae from COVID-19. We aimed to assess the feasibility of telerehabilitation; describe pulmonary and functional profiles of COVID-19 patients; and explore the effect of telerehabilitation on improving pulmonary symptoms and quality of life. Methods: We conducted a pre-experimental, pre-post pilot study. We recruited COVID-19 patients who had returned home following hospitalization. The intervention included eight weeks of supervised physiotherapy sessions. We documented technological issues, success of recruitment strategies, and participants’ attendance to supervised sessions. We measured the impact of pulmonary symptoms on quality of life and functional health. Results: We scheduled 64 supervised sessions with seven participants with few technological issues. Initial scores showed that pulmonary symptoms moderately to highly impacted quality of life. At eight weeks, all patients had improved from 10 to 45 points on the EuroQol-Visual Analog Scale (EQ-VAS) instrument, indicating clinical significance. Conclusion: We developed and administered a telerehabilitation intervention during a global pandemic that targets key symptoms of the relevant disease.
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