Systematic rapid “living” review on rehabilitation needs due to covid-19: update to march 31st 2020

Guido MBUncategorized

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2020 Apr 22

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.20.06329-7


language: English

Systematic rapid “living” review on rehabilitation needs due to covid-19: update to march 31st 2020

Maria G. CERAVOLO 1, Alessandro DE SIRE 2, 3, Elisa ANDRENELLI 1, Francesco NEGRINI 4 , Stefano NEGRINI 4, 5

1 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, “Politecnica delle Marche” University of Ancona, Ancona, Italy; 2 Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine, Department of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont “A. Avogadro”, Novara, Italy; 3 Rehabilitation Unit, “Mons. L. Novarese” Hospital, Moncrivello, Vercelli, Italy; 4 IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy; 5 Department of Biomedical, Surgical and Dental Sciences, University “La Statale”, Milan, Italy


BACKGROUND: The outbreak of Covid-19 epidemics has challenged the provision of health care worldwide, highlighting the main flaws of some national health systems with respect to their capacity to cope with the needs of frail subjects. People experiencing disability due to Covid-19 express specific rehabilitation needs that deserve a systematic evidence-based approach.
OBJECTIVES: To provide the rehabilitation community with updates on the latest scientific literature on rehabilitation needs due to Covid-19. The first rapid “living” review will present the results of a systematic search performed up to March 31st, 2020.
METHODS: A systematic search on PubMed, Pedro and Google Scholar was performed using the search terms: “Covid-19”, “Coronavirus”, “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”, “rehabilitation”, “physical therapy modalities”, “exercise”, “occupational therapy”, and “late complications”. Papers published up to March 31st, 2020, in English, were included.
RESULTS: Out of the 2758 articles retrieved, 9 were included in the present review. Four of them are “calls for action”, 3 provide recommendations about rehabilitation interventions in the acute phase, 2 address the needs of people quarantined at home or with restricted mobility due to the lockdown, and 1 provides a Core Outcome Set to be used in clinical trials to test the efficacy of health strategies in managing Covid-19 patients.
CONCLUSIONS: All selected papers were based on previous literature and not on the current Covid-19 pandemic. Main messages included: 1) early rehabilitation should be granted to inpatients with Covid-19; 2) people with restricted mobility due to quarantine or lockdown should receive exercise programs to reduce the risk of frailty, sarcopenia, cognitive decline and depression; 3) telerehabilitation may represent the first option for people at home. Further updates are warranted in order to characterize the emerging disability in Covid-19 survivors and the adverse effects on the health of chronically disabled people.


KEY WORDS: Covid-19; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; Coronavirus; Rehabilitation; Physical and rehabilitation medicine; Exercise