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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 Dec 06

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.07054-4


lingua: Inglese

Poor walking ability outcome and activities of daily living improvement in patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation during COVID-19 pandemic

Yoichiro AOYAGI 1, 2 , Etsuko MORI 3, Hideki ISHII 4, Yuji KONO 3, Ayako SATO 3, Yuki OKOCHI 3, Reisuke FUNAHASHI 2, Hitoshi KAGAYA 2

1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan; 2 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine I, School of Medicine, Fujita Health University, Toyoake, Japan; 3 Faculty of Rehabilitation, Fujita Health Bantane University Hospital, Nagoya, Japan; 4 Department of Cardiology, Fujita Health Bantane University Hospital, Nagoya, Japan


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging impacts across international healthcare systems and direct impacts on rehabilitation professionals. Few outcome data for cardiac patients undergoing rehabilitation programs during the COVID-19 pandemic are available.
AIM: We conducted a study to compare the effect of modified rehabilitation therapies mainly performed in wards versus conventional therapies mainly performed in rehabilitation units in which exercise on a treadmill and cardiopulmonary exercise testing were available.
DESIGN, SETTING, & POPULATION: The observational study involved 55 consecutive inpatients who were admitted to a university hospital and underwent a cardiac rehabilitation program from August 2019 to June 2020.
METHODS: The patients were divided into two groups: those admitted during the COVID-19 outbreak (Group A, n = 28) and those admitted before the COVID-19 outbreak (Group B, n = 27). The evaluation included age, sex, duration of the rehabilitation intervention program, days before initiation of the rehabilitation program, functional status, and functional independence measure (FIM) score.
RESULTS: A higher proportion of patients in Group A than B underwent a cardiac rehabilitation program provided in wards (88.5% vs. 48.8%, respectively). Group A showed a significantly lower 6-minute walking distance and walking speed than Group B at discharge (P = 0.031 and 0.014, respectively). Group A showed a significantly shorter exercise time using an ergometer than Group B (P = 0.028).
CONCLUSIONS: The difference in the cardiac rehabilitation location during the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the rehabilitation contents and lead to less improvement in physical function.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: A cardiac rehabilitation program was performed mainly in wards instead of in rehabilitation units during the COVID-19 pandemic. Walking abilities were adversely affected by the modified cardiac rehabilitation program.

KEY WORDS: Ward rehabilitation; Ergometer exercise; Heart failure; Rehabilitation unit

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