Insufficient physical rehabilitation programs for patients with COVID-19 and their hesitancy to come to medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic were reasons why this study was conducted, said Franco Laghi, MD, a professor and pulmonologist affiliated with Loyola University Medical Center and Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital in Maywood, Illinois.

The following questions are regarding an abstract titled “A Home-based, Remotely Monitored Program to Improve Physical Activity in Patients With Long COVID” presented at the American Thorasic Society's 2023 annual meeting.


Why did you study home-based physical activity in patients with long COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19, particularly patients with COVID-19 that have required medical attention, tend to develop long COVID-19. And the symptoms that more commonly occur with patients with long COVID-19 are fatigue, decreased exhale capacity, and shortness of breath.

So, from there [was] the idea of implementing an exercise rehabilitation program for these patients. The problem is that the availability of hospital-based supervised programs, physical rehab programs, is very limited, [and] from here [was] the idea of developing a home-based program. Now, what is attractive about that is that this type of program probably can be implemented when a future pandemic may happen.

The other thing that pressed us to develop this program was that we noticed the reluctance of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic to come to the hospital and to clinics, and from here [came] the idea of developing something that could be delivered in the home environment.

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