FAQ – COVID REHAB
1. How do I know whether a COVID rehabilitation program is right for me?
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, lethargy or shortness of breath, a COVID REHAB program may be right for you.
Rehabilitation is important for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection as they can play a major factor in helping to restore your physical and respiratory function (Demeco et al., 2020).
With the clinical expertise of our experienced rehabilitation consultants, we have developed evidence-based programs to help assist in your recovery in the most efficient and effective way.
2. I have never considered COVID REHAB before. What evidence is available for its use and benefits post-COVID infection?
The evidence for rehabilitation after covid is evolving and progressing as we continue to understand the longer-lasting effects of a COVID-19 infection. According to Alison (2022), after having had the virus, people may experience symptoms that continue for at least a month; lasting longer than 6 months in more severe cases. Our consultants can play an important role in the rehabilitation of people both with current COVID-19 infection symptoms and those with long COVID. To do this, we balance rest with physical activities for optimal long-term recovery.
3. Generally, what does a COVID REHAB program involve?
Depending on how you choose to access your rehabilitation, you may be appropriate for virtual telehealth sessions, in-person appointments at our clinic or home visits.
Your program may vary accordingly, however a COVID REHAB program usually involves the following:
- We ask you to complete a subjective assessment including completing a questionnaire about your symptoms.
- Followed by a telehealth consultation with our rehabilitation consultant.
- The consultant may conduct assessments of the lung, heart and physical capacity with qualified clinical practitioners, such as a physiotherapist trained in COVID REHAB.
- From this information, they will create a custom-designed rehabilitation program for you which can be accessed on your phone via an app.
- Afterwards, we review your progress in subsequent sessions with our consultants to track your improvement outcome.
If your condition and symptoms persist and are more complicated, we may engage our panel of global experts including doctors, TCM practitioners, nutritionists and psychologists for a case conference to discuss how to provide the best rehab program for you.
4. Overall, what are the most common health benefits of a COVID rehab program?
You can usually expect to see a number of improvements to your overall health from engaging in a COVID rehab program. Improvements in lung, heart and physical capacity are evidenced in patients who engage in COVID rehabilitation (Zampogna et al., 2021).
The symptoms and impacts that people with COVID-19 symptoms experience such as breathlessness, fatigue, reduced activity levels, and sputum retention can lead to reduced quality of life and mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress (Agency for Clinical Innovation Respiratory Network Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinical Expert Reference Group, 2020).
Engaging in a COVID rehab program may significantly reduce the impact of these symptoms on your daily life, and we aim for functional goals such as getting back to work or school faster than without a rehab plan. For long term outcomes, we will work with you to get your health back to pre-infection level as soon as possible, whilst avoiding negative side-effects such as long COVID.
5. Once I’ve booked myself in for a consultation, how easy is the process of post-COVID recovery? Is there much that’s required?
Your recovery journey and the program will depend on the severity of your COVID-19 infection and symptoms. In addition to consultation sessions with our practitioners, most of our clients can expect to engage in the exercises in their rehab program by themselves at home for about 10 minutes a day for 4-6 weeks.
6. How does COVID Rehab compare to other businesses offering similar services? I am not sure whether it is the most suitable for my needs.
Currently, there are very limited service providers in Australia that specialise in providing rehab programs for people after their COVID-19 infections. Before now, you would usually need to be admitted to a public hospital to access services such as the Long COVID clinic. However, we believe for most patients who do not have such severe symptoms, self-management with the aid of our rehab program is the best way to go.
7. What are the pros and cons of having online consultations versus conventional in-person consultations?
A Telehealth virtual consultation can save travel time for yourself as well as money as the cost of a virtual consultation is only about half of the conventional consultation fee. In addition, you can usually book and attend a virtual appointment on the same day as we can accommodate these appointments between 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM, 7 days a week.
Although some more severe cases of COVID-19 infection may require hospitalisation, our online consultations are usually more appropriate for people with mild and moderate symptoms and are more independent in their daily lives. If you have more persistent or moderate symptoms during your infection, we are also able to accommodate in-person consultations or home visits if they are appropriate.
8. What is the cost of an online consultation compared to an in-person consultation?
Currently, we are offering no gap sessions for members of a private healthcare fund or eligible Medicare card holders* until the 31st of December 2022. A free self-management package may also be available!
In addition, we are also offering half-off full price for clients without health funds.
*Terms and conditions apply. Please contact us to confirm your eligibility.
Medicare holders will require an EPC (Enhanced Primary Care) or Chronic Disease Management referral from your GP, and there is no gap payment if you enrolled on the program before 31/12/2022.
For clients with eligible Private health funds for physiotherapy or privately paying, no referral is required. Please contact us for more details.
9. What are the conditions where an online consultation is not appropriate?
Our virtual telehealth services may not be appropriate in certain circumstances such as:
- If you currently have a life-threatening condition.
- You have severe health conditions, such as unstable heart patterns or severe shortness of breath that may require Emergency Department attendance.
- For some of our senior clients or those who struggle with technology, we may recommend that an in-person or home visit session is more appropriate.
10. What general advice would you give me as someone who has recently suffered from COVID and is seeking therapy or preventative measures post-infection?
Our best advice is to act early if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms as engaging in early rehabilitation plays a key factor in speeding up recovery and improving your health outcomes (Curci et al., 2020).
We encourage you to visit our article for the 10 most important tips after Covid 19.
Agency for Clinical Innovation Respiratory Network Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinical Expert Reference Group. (2020). Rehabilitation following COVID-19 in the pulmonary rehabilitation setting (Publication). Sydney, NSW: Agency for Clinical Innovation.
Alison, J. (2022, September). Long COVID and rehabilitation. Inmotion.
Curci, C., Pisano, F., Bonacci, E., Camozzi, D. M., Ceravolo, C., Bergonzi, R., . . . De Sire, A. (2020). Early rehabilitation in post-acute COVID-19 patients: Data from an Italian covid-19 rehabilitation unit and proposal of a Treatment Protocol. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 56(5). doi:10.23736/s1973-9087.20.06339-x
Demeco, A., Marotta, N., Barletta, M., Pino, I., Marinaro, C., Petraroli, A., . . . Ammendolia, A. (2020, August). Rehabilitation of patients post-covid-19 infection: A literature review. Journal of International Medical Research, 48(8). doi:10.1177/0300060520948382
Zampogna, E., Paneroni, M., Belli, S., Aliani, M., Gandolfo, A., Visca, D., . . . Vitacca, M. (2021). Pulmonary rehabilitation in patients recovering from covid-19. Respiration, 100(5), 416-422. doi:10.1159/000514387