Telerehabilitation Intervention in Transitional Care for People with COVID-19: Pre-Post Study with a Non-Equivalent Control Group

Neuza Reis, Maria José Costa Dias, Luís Sousa, Filipa Canedo, Miguel Toscano Rico, Maria Adriana Henriques, Cristina Lavareda Baixinho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 infection and its resulting sequelae have increased the prevalence of people with respiratory symptoms, with impacts on functional capacity, quality of life, anxiety, depression, and mental health. To mitigate this problem, one challenge has been the design and implementation of interventions that simultaneously allow for education, rehabilitation, and monitoring of people with long COVID, at a time when health services were on the verge of rupture due to the volume of people with active COVID and in need of intensive care. Telerehabilitation emerged as a mode for providing rehabilitative care that brought professionals closer to patients and enabled continuity of care. The present study aimed to evaluate the results of a telerehabilitation intervention for people with injuries associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospital-community transitions, considering their degree of dependence in performing activities of daily living, respiratory symptoms, fatigue, gait capacity, muscle strength, and experience with anxiety and depression. A pre-post study with a non-equivalent control group was carried out with a total of 49 participants (intervention group n = 24; control group n = 25). The post-intervention results showed an increase in saturation, a decrease in heart rate, an improvement in the impact of post-COVID functionality, a decrease in fatigue, a decrease in perceived effort, and a decrease in depressive and anxiety symptoms. The telerehabilitation intervention, which combined educational strategies with respiratory and motor rehabilitation, helped improve global functionality and self-care, with clinical and functional impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2561
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords

  • depression
  • dyspnea
  • fatigue
  • long COVID
  • telerehabilitation
  • transitional care

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