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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 31

Redefining rehabilitation in the COVID-19 era

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UTHealth McGovern Medical School NeuroRecovery Research Center, TIRR Memorial Hermann Houston, Texas, USA

Date of Submission16-Apr-2020
Date of Decision20-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance20-Apr-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gerard E Francisco
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, McGovern Medical School, TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.jisprm_9_20

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How to cite this article:
Francisco GE. Redefining rehabilitation in the COVID-19 era. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med 2020;3:31

How to cite this URL:
Francisco GE. Redefining rehabilitation in the COVID-19 era. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 May 20];3:31. Available from: https://www.jisprm.org/text.asp?2020/3/2/31/287730

The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest in a string of global heath challenges that unleashes our resilience, tenacity, and creativity. Health-care workers around the world are being hailed as heroes and martyrs – and rightfully so – for risking their lives to save many others from death. Obviously, emergency medical care and infectious disease management are outside of the scope of physical and rehabilitation medicine (PRM), yet by focusing on function physiatrists have an important role in managing the anticipated disabilities stemming from the devastating effects of the SARS CoV-2 on practically every organ system in the body. Moreover, if function is indeed the “lived experience of health” PRM specialists globally have a vital role in improving the well-being of COVID-19 survivors, once the initial attack of the virus on the body has ceased.

In this issue of the journal, we feature the articles that describe how by redefining the role of PRM can improve function, and thus, enhance the “lived experience of health” of COVID-19 survivors. Li[1] outlines the role of rehabilitation in managing the care of persons with COVID-19 based on his recent experience in China. As well, Dohle et al.[2] who were in the frontlines of battling COVID in New York share their experience in leveraging the strengths of rehabilitation services within a large health system. Amatya and Khan[3] share their perspective regarding the role of rehabilitation in developing countries during the COVID crisis. Although we are at an early stage of providing rehabilitative care for COVID-19 survivors, Korupolu et al.[4] thoughtfully reviewed the current evidence of rehabilitation interventions that may be used to meet current needs and improve recovery and health outcomes. The impact of COVID-19 on persons with preexisting medical conditions and limitations in activities and participation is examined by Song and Khan.[5] Finally, Ambrose et al.[6] share a manual of exercises to facilitate well-being of COIVD-19 survivors once discharged home and begin a new sense of normal in their lives.

Clearly, there is a lot to learn about the short- and long-term consequences of COVID and understanding how recovery can be supported. We must systematically collect the data based on multiple and repeated observations that demonstrate the efficacy of rehabilitative interventions. Moreover, if the dire prediction that another wave of COVID-19 may happen later this year,[7] we will be better prepared to address the complications of the disease. It is unfortunate that wars, calamities, and disasters usually define an era or a generation (e.g., the Great Depression, the Vietnam war, 9/11). While the COVID-19 is touted to be a “once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,”[8] indubitably one that will leave an indelible mark on the current generation, it should also be seen as an opportunity for the citizens of the world to unite and collectively deliver the tons of good work to mitigate the adverse consequences of this infection. Many remarkable achievements have also defined various eras (to wit, the introduction of mass transportation, the discovery of the smallpox vaccine, human walking on the moon, and the Internet). How we will successfully meet the present and yet-to-be-known lingering challenges posed by COVID-19 can also emerge as a contemporary crowning achievement of mankind in this generation. As PRM specialists, we can help make this happen.

  References Top

Li J. Insights on the impact of rehabilitation medicine on COVID-19 management. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med [Current Issue].  Back to cited text no. 1
Dohle C, Oh-Park M, Gitkind A, Menkes J, Bartels M. The vital role of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in a large health system: The COVID-19 pandemic. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med [Current Issue].  Back to cited text no. 2
Amatya B, Khan F. COVID-19 in developing countries: A rehabilitation perspective. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med [Current Issue].  Back to cited text no. 3
Korupolu R, Francisco GE, Levin H, Needham DM. Rehabilitation of critically ill COVID-19 survivors. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med [Current Issue].  Back to cited text no. 4
Song K, Khan F. Impact of COVID-19 on cancer rehabilitation: An update. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med [Current Issue].  Back to cited text no. 5
Ambrose AF, Bartels MN, Verghese TC, Verghese J. Patient and caregiver guide to managing COVID-19 patients at home. J Int Soc Phys Rehabil Med [Current Issue]. Available from: http://www.jisprm.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=282570. [Last cited on 2020 Apr 19].  Back to cited text no. 6
Available from https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/21/coronavirus-secondwave-cdcdirector/. [Last accessed on 2020 June 09].  Back to cited text no. 7

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[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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