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Group-based pulmonary telerehabilitation is feasible, safe, beneficial and well-received in patients that have been hospitalised with Covid-19

Simpson, Andrew J.; Green, Angela; Nettleton, Marion; Hyde, Lucy; Shepherdson, Joanne; Killingback, Clare; Marshall, Phil; Crooks, Michael G.


Angela Green

Marion Nettleton

Lucy Hyde

Joanne Shepherdson

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Dr Michael Crooks
Senior Clinical Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine


Introduction Covid-19 has caused worldwide mass hospitalisation. The need for multi-disciplinary post-hospitalisation rehabilitation is becoming increasingly apparent and telerehabilitation has been endorsed. The aim of study was to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of pulmonary telerehabilitation for Covid-19 survivors.

Methods A single centre, mixed-methods, fast-track (wait-list), randomised controlled trial of telerehabilitation for patients who have been hospitalised with Covid-19.

Participants Forty patients discharged from two University Teaching Hospitals in the North of England. Interventions: Telerehabilitation consisted of twelve exercise classes, six education events and opportunity for peer support. Patients commenced telerehabilitation 14 days after randomisation in the fast-track group and 56 days after randomisation in the wait-list group.

Outcome measures and results Descriptive and statistical improvements were noted is several clinical outcome measures. Exercise capacity increased from a median (Q1–Q3) 20 (14–24) sit-to-stand repetitions in one-minute at baseline to 25 (24–30) post-telerehabilitation. Breathlessness rated using the MRC changed from 3.5 (3–4) at baseline to 2 (1.5–3) post-telerehabilitation, with additional favourable outcomes noted in respiratory symptoms measured using numerical rating scales and visual analogue scales (VAS). Quality of life measured using the EQ-VAS improved from 55 (60–70) units at baseline to 70 (55–80) units following telerehabilitation. Improvements in fatigue (FACIT-F) and mood (HADS-D) were also observed. Natural recovery was observed in the wait-list group prior to receiving telerehabilitation, however, improvements were accelerated by early telerehabilitation in the fast-track group.

Conclusions We have shown that group-based telerehabilitation is feasible, safe, beneficial and well-received in this population.


Simpson, A. J., Green, A., Nettleton, M., Hyde, L., Shepherdson, J., Killingback, C., …Crooks, M. G. (in press). Group-based pulmonary telerehabilitation is feasible, safe, beneficial and well-received in patients that have been hospitalised with Covid-19. ERJ Open Research, Article 00373-2022.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 9, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 24, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 30, 2022
Journal ERJ Open Research
Publisher European Respiratory Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Article Number 00373-2022
Keywords Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
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Copyright ©The authors 2022<br /> This version is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Licence 4.0. For commercial reproduction rights and permissions contact

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