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Rehabilitation services are essential: They need to continue during a pandemic and after as they are an essential component of high-value care offered for individuals across the lifespan to optimise physical and cognitive functioning to reduce disability.
Rehabilitation care is affected: Globally, the response to COVID-19 is shifting rehabilitation services provided in all settings, introducing new burden on patients, families and healthcare workers.
Measurement needed: A core set of measures needs to be adopted to monitor the health and functional outcomes for COVID-19 and other patients at risk for functional decline and to assess the quality, availability and accessibility of services today and as our nations recover.
Telerehabilitation is necessary: Remote delivery of care and the necessary rapid scale-up of telehealth could be optimised if financial, infrastructure, resource, training and cybersecurity barriers were addressed.
Collaboration can support needs in the home: Novel partnerships that include the rehabilitation community could enhance communication and delivery of safe and effective home-based rehabilitative strategies to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19 and reduced service capacity.
Direct care providers need personal protective equipment: Rehabilitation providers in all settings should be ensured personal protective equipment and training to use it effectively.
COVID-19 is overwhelming healthcare services and healthcare workers globally. The response, appropriately, is on the ability to care for people who become critically ill, protect their carers and keep people physically distanced. However, this response has shifted what is considered and how to provide essential healthcare services. Rehabilitation services, which optimise physical and cognitive functioning to reduce disability, are a core component of high-value care.1 The decisions to shift, transform, delay or discontinue rehabilitation care are complex. These decisions have societal implications for today and the future. This commentary describes adjustments to the continuum of rehabilitation services across 12 low-income, middle-income and high-income countries in …
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