Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Patients Recovering from COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Respiration. 2021 Mar 30:1-7. doi: 10.1159/000514387. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: In hospitalized patients recovering from the SARS-coronavirus-2 disease 19 (COVID-19), high prevalence of muscle weakness and physical performance impairment has been observed.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in these subjects in a real-life setting.

METHODS: Retrospective data analysis of patients recovering from COVID-19, including those requiring assisted ventilation or oxygen therapy, consecutively admitted to an in-patient pulmonary rehabilitation program between April 1 and August 15, 2020. Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB: primary outcome), Barthel Index (BI), and six-min walking distance were assessed as outcome measures.

RESULTS: Data of 140 patients were analyzed. After rehabilitation, patients showed improvements in SPPB {from: (median [IQR]) 0.5 (0-7) to 7 (4-10), p < 0.001} and BI (from 55 [30-90] to 95 [65-100], p < 0.001), as well as in other assessed outcome measures. The proportion of patients unable at admission to stand, rise from a chair and walk was significantly reduced (p < 0.00).

CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary rehabilitation is possible and effective in patients recovering from COVID-19. Our findings may be useful to guide clinicians taking care of patients surviving COVID-19 infection.

PMID:33784696 | DOI:10.1159/000514387

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