• Safety, Feasibility, and Outcomes of Frequent, Long-Duration Rehabilitation in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility After Prolonged Hospitalization for Severe COVID-19: An Observational Study.

      Vickory, Frank; Ridgeway, Kyle; Falvey, Jason; Houwer, Beth; Gunlikson, Jennifer; Payne, Katherine; Niehaus, William (Oxford University Press, 2021-11)
      OBJECTIVE: he objective of this study was to evaluate safety, feasibility, and outcomes of 30 patients within an inpatient rehabilitation facility following hospitalization for severe Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) infection. METHODS: This was an observational study of 30 patients (ages 26-80 years) within a large, metropolitan, academic hospital following hospitalization for complications from severe COVID-19. Ninety percent of the participants required critical care, and 83% required mechanical ventilation during their hospitalization. Within an inpatient rehabilitation facility and model of care, frequent, long-duration rehabilitation was provided by occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech language pathologists. RESULTS: The average inpatient rehabilitation facility length of stay was 11 days (ranging from 4-22 days). Patients averaged 165 min/d (ranging from 140-205 minutes) total of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Twenty-eight of the 30 patients (93%) were discharged to the community. One patient required readmission from an inpatient rehabilitation facility to an acute hospital. All 30 patients improved their functional status with inpatient rehabilitation. CONCLUSION: In this cohort of 30 patients, inpatient rehabilitation after severe COVID-19 was safe and feasible. Patients were able to participate in frequent, long-duration rehabilitation with nearly all patients discharging to the community. Clinically, inpatient rehabilitation should be considered for patients with functional limitations following severe COVID-19. Given 90% of our cohort required critical care, future studies should investigate the efficacy and effectiveness of inpatient rehabilitation following hospitalization for critical illness. Frequent, long-duration rehabilitation shows promising potential to address functional impairments following hospitalization for severe COVID-19. IMPACT: Inpatient rehabilitation facilities should be considered as a discharge location for hospitalized survivors of COVID-19, especially severe COVID-19, with functional limitations precluding community discharge. Clinicians and administrators should consider inpatient rehabilitation and inpatient rehabilitation facilities to address the rehabilitation needs of COVID-19 and critical illness survivors. © The Author(s) 2021.