The rehabilitation of patients with and recovering from COVID-19 is evolving and will be an integral part of therapy for the foreseeable future. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) developed a task force representing all academies and sections to identify core outcome measures to be used with all patients diagnosed with COVID-19 throughout care, across all settings. These outcome measures are to be used with patients having goals associated with five constructs; function, strength, endurance, cognition, and quality of life. (APTA, 2020)
After assessment with these core outcome measures, patients with and recovering from COVID-19 may benefit from treatments incorporating biophysical agents and advanced technology to address impairments related to the five constructs.
- Function: Short Physical Battery (SPPB); evaluates lower extremity function in older adults and has 3 sub-tests (standing balance, 4-meter gait speed, 5-repetition sit-to-stand). Patterned electrical neuromuscular stimulation (PENS) to the muscles affecting balance and gait, OmniStand® for balance, and MFAC with remote hand control during transfers may improve lower extremity function.
- Strength: Medical Research Council Sum Score (MRC-SS); measures strength bilaterally for the shoulder abductors, elbow flexors, wrist extensors, hip flexors, knee extensors, and foot dorsiflexors. The use of PENS to major muscle groups may assist in improving overall upper and lower extremity strength.
- Endurance: 2-Minute Step Test; measures exercise capacity. Upper or lower extremity OmniCycle® with or without PENS cycle protocol and OmniVR® standing and walking activities may be used to improve exercise capacity.
- Cognition: St. Louis University Mental Status examination (SLUMs); identifies individuals with dementia or mild neurocognitive impairment. OmniVR® cognitive activities may improve cognitive performance.
- Quality of life: EQ-5D-5L (health related quality measure of life); self-administered questionnaire with five dimensions (mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, anxiety/depression) with five levels of response and a visual analog scale as an alternative rating of health. In the rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19, using outcome measures throughout care and incorporating biophysical agents and advanced technology to address impairments and improve participation may positively influence quality of life.
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). (2020). COVID-19 Core Outcome Measures: APTA Academies and Sections Consensus Statement.