Physiotherapy Management for COVID-19 in the Acute Hospital Setting

Physiotherapists are key members of the health care teams that are assessing and treating individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Physiotherapists have a role in how our workplaces plan, prepare and provide treatment for these patients. They are responsible for screening these individuals to determine who is an appropriate candidate for physiotherapy, and they are providing acute care and rehabilitation for these individuals.

In our current health pandemic, there is an urgent need for timely and informed clinical practice recommendations. Dr. Peter J Thomas from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, gathered a team of expert clinicians and researchers from around the world to share the best available evidence and expert opinion.  As a result clinical guidance recommendations for the physiotherapy management for COVID-19 in the acute hospital setting have been developed and published

These clinical recommendations have been supported by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), the Australian Physiotherapy Association, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), the Association of Italian Respiratory Physical Therapy (AIR), the UK’s Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care (ACPRC), and the International Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapists (ICCrPT).

It is essential to remember that in our current climate, as we learn more about COVID-19, these recommendations will be continually revised and improved. This information does not replace clinical reasoning for individualised patient care but provides a guide to physiotherapists working in this setting.

Rachael Moses and Dr. Bernie Bissett recently connected to chat about how these guidelines came about and how they were created. They do an excellent job of describing how these guidelines were developed in the absence of randomised control trials in patients with COVID-19 and how they will be continually revised and updated as we learn from our colleagues around the globe. You can watch their insightful conversation here: