COVID-19 & Frailty Rehabilitation Task Force
The mission of the COVID-19 & Frailty Rehabilitation Task Force is to optimize frailty recognition, measurement and management across the continuum of rehabilitation settings by building collaborations between interdisciplinary researchers, clinicians, policy makers, caregivers and frail older adults groups. Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 and the urgent need of evidence-based decisions to inform rehabilitation approaches for frail individuals, we will focus on the impact of frailty on individuals affected by COVID-19 virus and how to identify and implement the best rehabilitation approach to these individuals.
In the current global pandemic, it appears that frail older adults and long-term care residents are at highest risk of mortality and hospital and ICU admissions. Little is known about the rehabilitation needs of patients affected by COVID-19. Before rehabilitation professionals will be able to deliver the best services for these patients, we will need to understand:
- What is the virus’ impact on the person’s health, function, and quality of life?
- How does the patients’ frailty and severity status impact the recommended treatment for these individuals?
- How can rehabilitation be used to improve health and reduce frailty in people at risk for COVID-19 and similar illness?
- What happens after these patients are discharged?
- What approaches need to be taken to enhance their participation in center-based rehab or health programs?
This task force would explore the option of extending rehabilitation to the home or community for frail and at high risk individuals. Relevant evidence-based literature, including home and centre-based rehabilitation and related approaches, will be reviewed, and the task force will recommend emergent and innovative, revenue-neutral, approaches to best care for the frail and underserved patients impacted by COVID-19.
Ahmed Negm MD, MSc, PhD
University of Alberta
- Address the current COVID-19 impact on frail patients with evidence and practical clinical knowledge
- Educate the field for proper recommendations related to the rehabilitation of frail older adults after a Pandemic
The task force will disseminate its work through white papers, ARCHIVES of PM&R Information & Education Pages (IEPs) and evidence-based reports as well as by public dissemination approaches.