Madrid, May 10. (Europe Press) –
Patients with long-term symptoms of COVID-19 who completed a six-week supervised rehabilitation program showed significant improvements in exercise capacity, respiratory symptoms, fatigue and cognition, according to researchers at the Leicester Biomedical Research Center. UK National Health Research.
The study, published in the Journal of Chronic Respiratory Diseases, followed thirty patients who participated in face-to-face rehabilitation classes twice a week over a period of six weeks. The program included aerobic exercises, such as walking or using a treadmill, arm and leg strength exercises, and educational discussions to support symptom management based on information from your COVID Recovery platform.
The researchers found a statistically significant improvement in ability to exercise, as measured by long-distance walking scores and the ability to continue without rest using additional gait and endurance tests. They also found that fatigue improved by 5 points on the FACIT over six weeks. In addition, participants demonstrated improvements in their overall well-being and cognition, as measured by standardized clinical assessment tools.
Participants were referred through a follow-up evaluation over the phone upon discharge from the hospital, or in a face-to-face clinical assessment for COVID-19, or through a general practitioner. Individuals had the opportunity to participate if they developed physical and / or psychological symptoms that affected their daily activities. Patients were excluded if they developed severe symptoms, were not medically stable (such as uncontrolled diabetes) or only had symptoms that were unlikely to benefit from the pulmonary rehabilitation program, such as loss of taste or smell.
Among the participants there was an equal distribution between men and women, with an average of 58 years old. 87 percent of participants were hospitalized with COVID-19 and spent an average of 10 days in the hospital. Fourteen per cent required mechanical ventilation and were treated in the intensive care unit (ICU). Four people have a preexisting respiratory disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“We know that COVID-19 survivors have a variety of symptoms and that a single approach to their treatment would not be appropriate. However, the needs of COVID-19 survivors overlap with the needs of patients who have entered pulmonary rehab for other cases, such as obstructive disease. So we modified the well-established RP cycle of COVID-19 survivors and measured their symptoms to assess whether the program was helpful. We found that there were improvements in clinical outcomes for walking ability and symptoms of fatigue, explains Dr. Inia Dines, a specialist in pulmonary rehabilitation and physiotherapist in research Leicester Hospitals and lead author of the study, said that perception and respiratory symptoms are the factors that patients tell us that greatly affect their quality of life.