Provision of pulmonary rehabilitation in Latin America 18 months after the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of the Latin American Thoracic Association

Chron Respir Dis. 2022 Jan-Dec;19:14799731221104102. doi: 10.1177/14799731221104102.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly altered the provision of rehabilitation services, especially pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Our objective was to assess the provision of PR services in Latin America 18 months after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study that included professionals dedicated to PR in centres in Latin America was applied. Responses to an online questionnaire were collected from May to September 2021. The following data were included for the analysis: demographic data, evaluation strategies, program structure, PR intervention in post-COVID-19 patients, and perception of strategies therapies for the care of post-COVID-19 patients. The questionnaire was distributed in Spanish and Portuguese languages.

RESULTS: Responses were received from 196 PR centres. Exercise tolerance was predominantly measured with the six-minute walk test. Less than 50% of the institutions evaluate quality of life, physical qualities, symptoms, and lung function. Most of the programmes have physiotherapists (90.8%), as well as pulmonologists (60%), and psychologists (35%), among other professionals.

CONCLUSION: PR services in Latin America have adapted in their way to the requirements of the pandemic, and most continued to provide face-to-face services. It was identified that the application of the programs is heterogeneous both in evaluations and interventions.

PMID:35616253 | DOI:10.1177/14799731221104102