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Telerehabilitation for patients who have been hospitalised with covid-19: a qualitative study

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


Mark Thompson

Marion Nettleton

Lucy Hyde

Joanne Shepherdson

Angela Green


Purpose: The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the views of participants of a group-based, supervised, telerehabilitation programme, following discharge from hospital with Covid-19. This study was part of a single-centre, fast-track (wait-list), randomised, mixed-methods, feasibility trial of telerehabilitation (Registration: reference:285205). Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted over a virtual teleconference platform with 10 participants who took part in a telerehabilitation programme following Covid-19 after discharge from an acute hospital. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Five themes were important from the participant perspective: telerehabilitation programme as part of the Covid-19 journey; the telerehabilitation programme design and delivery; peer aspects; the role of the instructor; and the role of technology and online delivery. Conclusions: Overall, the telerehabilitation programme was a positive experience for participants. The instructors were central to this positive view as was the group nature of the programme. The group aspect was particularly important in supporting the broader perceived wellbeing gains, such as the sense of enjoyment and reduced social isolation. Several participants would have liked to have continued with the exercises beyond the six-week intervention indicating that the programme could be a way to help people sustain a physically active lifestyle.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Participants who were recovering from Covid-19 following hospital admission perceived the telerehabilitation to be a positive experience overall. The group aspect of the telerehabilitation programme was important in supporting the broader perceived wellbeing gains such as the sense of enjoyment and reduced social isolation. Telerehabilitation programmes for Covid-19 may need to include pathways for participants to continue to engage in exercise beyond the time-limited six-week intervention to support ongoing self-management.


Killingback, C., Thompson, M., Nettleton, M., Hyde, L., Marshall, P., Shepherdson, J., …Simpson, A. J. (2023). Telerehabilitation for patients who have been hospitalised with covid-19: a qualitative study. Disability and Rehabilitation,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 11, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 11, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 13, 2023
Journal Disability and Rehabilitation
Print ISSN 0963-8288
Electronic ISSN 1464-5165
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Telerehabilitation; Covid-19; Long-covid; Qualitative; Group based; Long covid; Physiotherapy
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Copyright Statement
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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