Rehabilitative management of post-acute COVID-19 : clinical pictures and outcomes

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature..

This study aimed to detect patients' characteristics who suffered severe and critical COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to the post-acute COVID-19 rehabilitation clinic in Ankara City Hospital, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital and to share our experiences and outcomes of rehabilitation programmes applied. This study was designed as a single-centre, retrospective, observational study. Severe and critical COVID-19 patients, admitted to the post-acute COVID-19 rehabilitation clinic, were included in patient-based rehabilitation programmes, targeting neuromuscular and respiratory recovery. Functional status, oxygen (O2) requirement and daily living activities were assessed before and after rehabilitation. Eighty-five patients, of which 74% were male, were analysed, with the mean age of 58.27 ± 11.13 and mean body mass index of 25.29 ± 4.81 kg/m2. The most prevalent comorbidities were hypertension (49.4%) and diabetes mellitus (34.1%). Of the 85 patients, 84 received antiviral drugs, 81 low-molecular-weight heparin, 71 corticosteroids, 11 anakinra, 4 tocilizumab, 16 intravenous immunoglobulin and 6 plasmapheresis. 78.8% of the patients were admitted to the intensive care unit, with a mean length of stay of 19.41 ± 18.99 days, while those who needed O2 support with mechanic ventilation was 36.1%. Neurological complications, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, critical illness-related myopathy/neuropathy, cerebrovascular disease and steroid myopathy, were observed in 39 patients. On initial functional statuses, 55.3% were bedridden, 22.4% in wheelchair level and 20% mobilised with O2 support. After rehabilitation, these ratios were 2.4%, 4.7% and 8.2%, respectively. During admission, 71 (83.5%) patients required O2 support, but decreased to 7 (8.2%) post-rehabilitation. Barthel Index improved statistically from 44.82 ± 27.31 to 88.47 ± 17.56. Patient-based modulated rehabilitation programmes are highly effective in severe and critical COVID-19 complications, providing satisfactory well-being in daily living activities.

Media Type:

Electronic Article

Year of Publication:


Contained In:

Rheumatology international - Vol. 41, No. 12 (2021), p. 2167-2175




Güler, Tuba
Yurdakul, Fatma Gül
Acar Sivas, Filiz
Kiliç, Zeynep
Adigüzel, Emre
Yaşar, Evren
Bodur, Hatice



Keywords: Schlagworte

Date Completed 05.11.2021

Date Revised 05.11.2021

published: Print-Electronic

Citation Status MEDLINE

Copyright: From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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