Functional outcome after inpatient rehabilitation in post-intensive care unit COVID-19 patients: findings and clinical implications from a real-practice retrospective study

Claudio Curci, Francesco Negrini, Martina Ferrillo, Roberto Bergonzi, Eleonora Bonacci, Danila M Camozzi, Claudia Ceravolo, Silvia De Franceschi, Rodolfo Guarnieri, Paolo Moro, Fabrizio Pisano, Alessandro De Sire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: COronaVIrus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is quickly spreading worldwide, with survivors that suffer functional impairments with a consequent key role of rehabilitation in this context. To date, there is a lack of findings on the role of rehabilitation in post-acute COVID-19 patients.

AIM: Thus, we aimed at describing the role of a patient-tailored rehabilitation plan on functional outcome in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

DESIGN: Real-practice retrospective study.

SETTING: Inpatients Rehabilitation Unit.

POPULATION: Post-acute COVID-19 patients.

METHODS: Medical records of patients referred to an Italian COVID-19 Rehabilitation Unit from March 10th, 2020 to April 30th, 2020 were collected. All patients underwent a rehabilitative (30 minutes/set, 2 times/day), aimed to improve gas exchanges, reducing dyspnoea, and improving muscle function. At the admission (T0) and at the discharge (T1), we evaluated as outcome measures: Barthel Index (BI), modified Medical Research Council Dyspnoea Scale, 6-Minute Walking Test (6-MWT) and Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. We also assessed: type of respiratory supports needed, pulmonary function, coagulation and inflammation markers and length of stay (LOS) in Rehabilitation Unit.

RESULTS: We included 41 post-acute COVID-19 patients (25 male and 19 female), mean aged 72.15±11.07 years. Their mean LOS in the Rehabilitation Unit was 31.97±9.06 days, as 39 successfully completed the rehabilitation treatment and 2 deceased. We found statistically significant improvement in BI (84.87±15.56 vs 43.37±26.00; p<0.0001), 6-MWT (303.37±112.18 vs 240.0±81.31 meters; p=0.028), Borg RPE scale (12.23±2.51 vs 16.03±2.28; p<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that post-acute COVID-19 patients might beneficiate of a motor and respiratory rehabilitation treatment. However, further studies are advised to better understand long-term sequelae of the disease.

CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: This study provides evidence on the role of rehabilitation COVID-19 post-acute inpatients through a patient-tailored treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 4 2021

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