Characterizing non-critically ill COVID-19 survivors with and without in-hospital rehabilitation

Sci Rep. 2021 Oct 26;11(1):21039. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-00246-1.


This study investigated pre-COVID-19 admission dependency, discharge assistive equipment, discharge medical follow-up recommendation, and functional status at hospital discharge of non-critically ill COVID-19 survivors, stratified by those with (N = 155) and without (N = 162) in-hospital rehabilitation. "Mental Status", intensive-care-unit (ICU) Mobility, and modified Barthel Index scores were assessed at hospital discharge. Relative to the non-rehabilitation patients, rehabilitation patients were older, had more comorbidities, worse pre-admission dependency, were discharged with more assistive equipment and supplemental oxygen, spent more days in the hospital, and had more hospital-acquired acute kidney injury, acute respiratory failure, and more follow-up referrals (p < 0.05 for all). Cardiology, vascular medicine, urology, and endocrinology were amongst the top referrals. Functional scores of many non-critically ill COVID-19 survivors were abnormal at discharge (p < 0.05) and were associated with pre-admission dependency (p < 0.05). Some functional scores were negatively correlated with age, hypertension, coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease, psychiatric disease, anemia, and neurological disorders (p < 0.05). In-hospital rehabilitation providing restorative therapies and assisting discharge planning were challenging in COVID-19 circumstances. Knowledge of the functional status, discharge assistive equipment, and follow-up medical recommendations at discharge could enable appropriate and timely post-discharge care. Follow-up studies of COVID-19 survivors are warranted as many will likely have significant post-acute COVID-19 sequela.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • Critical Care
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Quality of Life
  • Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Survivors