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Post-COVID Rehabilitation Pathways: The Road Less Traveled

Course/Session Description:
The medical and research communities are rapidly sharing new and/or evolving information regarding the lingering effects of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 in various patient populations. It is easy for clinicians to feel overwhelmed, unsure of the information's quality, or unclear as to how such information relates to clinical practice, especially in an outpatient environment. You may ask yourself: “How might a patient’s previous (confirmed or suspected) COVID-19 infection influence rehabilitation for return to work or sport?” “Are there specific questions or screening strategies I should use if my patient has a history of COVID-19?” “Is graded, cardiovascular exercise a one-size-fits-all approach to patients with post-COVID conditions?

This 1.5 hour webinar will discuss common clinical presentations of post-COVID conditions, from the hospitalized, post-ICU patient to the high-level athlete returning to sport. This course aims to help rehabilitation clinicians differentiate between post-COVID conditions or phenotypes amenable to traditional, graded-exercise rehabilitation approaches and those that may benefit from a symptom-management approach. As physical therapists and physical therapy assistants, functional movement and exercise-based intervention strategies are the foundation of our profession. However, as we will learn in this course, there are specific clinical features such as post-viral fatigue or dysautonomia that should inform if, how, and when to prescribe exercise. Resources for therapists, patients, and their families/care teams will also be provided.

Course Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the webinar participants will be able to:

• Discuss the incidence and prevalence of post-COVID conditions in the United
States and The Commonwealth.

• Discuss post-COVID, multi-system sequelae which may result in episodic or long-term disablement.

• Explain how different post-COVID clinical phenotypes affect rehabilitation pathways and symptom management.

• Formulate questions as part of an evidence-based subjective examination to identify post-COVID conditions in the outpatient setting.

• Explain the role of breathing pattern assessment and/or determination of breathing pattern dysfunction in the physical examination of patients with post- COVID conditions.

• Analyze data from the subjective history, screening tools, physical examination, and functional outcome measures to determine safe rehabilitation pathways and/or symptom management strategies.

• Recognize the role of energy conservation and pacing strategies in improving function and quality of life for people living with post-COVID conditions.

• Recognize the role of previous physical and/or cognitive exertion as an exacerbating factor for people living with the Long COVID phenotype(s).

• Participate in creating a healthcare environment that accommodates the varying needs
of patients living with post-COVID conditions.

1.50 contact hour of Type 1 Credit

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