Rehabilitation of patients post-COVID-19 infection: a literature review

J Int Med Res. 2020 Aug;48(8):300060520948382. doi: 10.1177/0300060520948382.


Rehabilitation is important for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Given the lack of guidelines in English on the rehabilitation of these patients, we conducted a review of the most recent reports. We performed this literature review using the principal research databases and included randomized trials, recommendations, quasi-randomized or prospective controlled clinical trials, reports, guidelines, field updates, and letters to the editor. We identified 107 studies in the database search, among which 85 were excluded after screening the full text or abstract. In total, 22 studies were finally included. The complexity of the clinical setting and the speed of spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which leads to rapid occupation of beds in the intensive care unit, make it necessary to discharge patients with COVID-19 who have mild symptoms as soon as possible. For these reasons, it is necessary to formulate rehabilitation programs for these patients, to help them restore physical and respiratory function and to reduce anxiety and depression, particularly patients with comorbidities and those who live alone or in rural settings, to restore a good quality of life.

Keywords: Rehabilitation; coronavirus disease 2019; intensive care; physical function; respiratory function; review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / psychology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / rehabilitation*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Discharge Summaries*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / psychology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life
  • SARS-CoV-2