|Review of the first 6 months of a post-Covid-19 Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme
|C. Baily-Scanlan B. Kehoe E. Moloney
|Physiotherapy Department, Dublin South West, CHO7, Professorial Respiratory Centre, Tallaght University Hospital
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|There are a large number of post-Covid-19 patients who are experiencing ongoing physical, functional and psychological impairments. Frequently reported symptoms are cough, breathlessness and fatigue(1). Evidence for post-covid-19 pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) remains limited, however these symptoms can be potentially managed within the traditional PR programme.
In response to the suspension of face to face PR due to Public Health Guidelines, the community-based PR staff in Dublin South West sustained the delivery of PR through a virtual medium. This has previously been shown to be safe and feasible (2). In the initial 6 months, 25 patients with post-Covid-19 symptoms were referred to virtual PR (VPR). 14 were assessed and 9 completed the programme. The remaining did not attend assessment as they were either back to baseline, medically unwell or had issues with the technology required.
Patients were invited to log onto the HSE approved digital platform Attend Anywhere or attend in person, depending on public health advice, for their initial and post assessments. Classes were delivered via Attend Anywhere and ran twice a week for 8 weeks.
88% (n=8) of participants showed a significant improvement in exercise tolerance using either the 1 minute sit-to-stand or 6 minute walk test. Other outcome measures used were the Chalder Fatigue Score, short-form IPAQ and HADS.
The implementation of an integrated multidisciplinary service for patients experiencing post-Covid-19 symptoms is needed to address the rehabilitation needs of this patient cohort.