Experts to Explore Post-COVID Rehabilitation

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was difficult to come to a consensus on the existence of a post-COVID condition. Fast forward a few years, and it is still a big hurdle.

This topic, and the cutting-edge research behind it, will be discussed in Rehabilitation for the Post-COVID Population. The session will take place on Tuesday, May 23, from 9–10:30 a.m. ET in Room 146 A-C (Street Level) of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Frits Franssen, MD, PhD
Frits Franssen, MD, PhD

The pace of scientific discovery since March 2020 has been catching up with the viral reality of SARS-CoV-2 and how to rehabilitate and treat the people recovering from COVID-19, noted session Chair Frits Franssen, MD, PhD, medical director at CIRO in Horn, the Netherlands.

“Now is the moment to learn. Now the results of the randomized studies are coming in,” he said. “We can also use this data for future pandemics, and not necessarily just with COVID, but also with other viral infections like we’ve seen in the past.”

A year ago, researchers and clinicians were relying on data from cross sectional and observational studies, whereas now, the medical community is gaining insights from experimental data.

“In this session, the presenters are really going to focus on what is now evidence-based medicine for post COVID,” Dr. Franssen said. “I think it’s really important to discuss this and the components that could be part of the management of these patients.”

These featured presentations include:

  • Rationale for Rehabilitation in the Post-COVID-19 Population (Long COVID Symptoms), Marla Beauchamp, PT, PhD, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Evidence for Post-COVID Exercise-Based Rehabilitation Programs, Sally J. Singh, PhD, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Evidence for Fatigue Management in Long COVID, Trudie Chalder, PhD, King’s College, London, United Kingdom
  • Core Outcome Set for Long COVID, Dale M. Needham, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • Argument 1: Patients Recovering from COVID Should be Integrated into Existing Pulmonary Rehabilitation Services, Rainer Gloeckl, PhD, Schoen Klinik Berchtesgadener Land, Schoenau am Koenigssee, Germany
  • Argument 2: There is a Better Alternative to Integrating Patients with Long COVID into Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Derick Wade, MD, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom

Each presentation will cover the topic from a different angle, Dr. Franssen said. Some will delve into the efficacy of rehabilitation; others will examine natural recovery regardless of intervention.

When taking all these perspectives in tandem, it demonstrates the need for innovative and personalized care for each patient. “It all comes down to a personalized approach. I think you need to look for what is the specific problem in this patient. Is it mainly physical or is it mainly psychological? And depending on that, you’ll develop a program and measure the outcome,” he said.

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