First impact of COVID-19 on services and their preparation. "Instant paper from the field" on rehabilitation answers to the COVID-19 emergency

Paolo Boldrini, Carlotte Kiekens, Stefano Bargellesi, Rodolfo Brianti, Silvia Galeri, Lucia Lucca, Andrea Montis, Federico Posteraro, Federico Scarponi, Sofia Straudi, Stefano Negrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper reports the immediate impact of the epidemic on rehabilitation services in Italy, the first country in Europe hit by Covid-19. In a country with almost 5,000 Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine physicians, the webinar had 230 live viewers (4.5%), and more than 8,900 individual visualizations of the recorded version. The overall inadequate preparation of the rehabilitation system to face a sudden epidemic was clear, and similar to that of the acute services. The original idea of confining the Covid-19 cases to some areas of rehabilitation wards and/or hospitals, preserving others, proved not to be feasible. Continuous reorganization and adaptation were required due to the rapid changes. Overall, rehabilitation needs had to surrender to the more acute emergency, with total conversion of beds, wards and even hospitals. The quarantine needs heavily involved also outpatient services that were mostly closed. Rehabilitation professionals needed support, but also acted properly, again similarly to what happened in the acute wards. The typical needs of rehabilitation, such as human and physical contacts, but also social interactions including patient, team, family and caregivers, appeared clearly in the current unavoidable need of being suppressed. These notes could serve the preparation of other services worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 8 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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