Long Term Functional Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients Treated by Rehabilitation Services viaTelehealth


This study seeks to assess the impact of physical and pulmonary rehabilitation on patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the short and long term in hopes of establishing a best practices protocol for treatment of future patients with this disease.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Non-Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Double (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: April 19, 2022

Detailed Description

The novel coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China in late 2019 made an appearance in the United States in January 2020. It is a respiratory disease spreading rapidly from person to person. Recent data shows that fibrosis is seen on the lungs, and possible myocardial damage. Data shows that physical therapy was not highly utilized in recovery for these patients due to high PPE demands, and increased risk of exposure. This study will be using telehealth services to assess and treat these patients so Physical Therapy guidance is provided for movement and returning to prior level of function. Currently there is no data showing the long term effects of the those who were able to utilize Physical Therapy in recovering from COVID-19 This study will be looking at the differences in outcomes of COVID-19 positive subjects who able to complete Physical Therapy Telehealth visits versus those who did not. All groups will be tested at multiple data points for lung capacity, upper and lower extremity strength, and overall endurance to determine the long term functional effects. The control group were diagnosed with COVID-19 and recovered before the Physical and Pulmonary protocol was implemented.


  • Behavioral: Therapy Intervention
    • Patients receive 2-4 visits (based on patient presentation and need) of physical therapy, up to 4 visits of occupational therapy, up to 4 visits of speech therapy based on need. Treatment focuses on physical strengthening, pulmonary strengthening/breathing exercises, and cognitive rehabilitation.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • No Intervention: Standard of Care
    • These are patients who were diagnosed with COVID19 and recovered with usual care prior to implementation of the rehabilitation program developed by MUHC therapists. These patients will be selected in such a way as to match the approximate demographics that exist within the treatment group. These patients received education and supportive care only.
  • Experimental: Rehabilitation Group
    • These are patients who were diagnosed with COVID19 and participated in the physical and pulmonary rehabilitation program developed at MU Healthcare as described in the study design.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Change in 6 Minute Walk Test
    • Time Frame: From 6 to 24 months post diagnosis
    • Validated test demonstrating functional gait capacity and endurance; measuring change in capacity over time in 6 month increments.
  • Change in Short Form 35 (SF-36) Questionnaire
    • Time Frame: From 6 to 24 months post diagnosis
    • Validated questionnaire assessing function and quality of life for patients with pulmonary function issues

Secondary Measures

  • Change in Strength testing
    • Time Frame: From 6 to 24 months post diagnosis
    • Use of grip dynamometer and isokinematic lower extremity testing to determine muscle capacity
  • Change in Peak Flow Meter Test
    • Time Frame: From 6 to 24 months post diagnosis
    • Measures lung output capacity

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • >Age of 18
  • Positive COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 6 months

Exclusion Criteria

  • Age of <18

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Jennifer Y Stone, Manager, Clinical Rehabilitative Services – University of Missouri-Columbia


Yang F, Liu N, Hu JY, Wu LL, Su GS, Zhong NS, Zheng ZG. [Pulmonary rehabilitation guidelines in the principle of 4S for patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)]. Zhonghua Jie He He Hu Xi Za Zhi. 2020 Mar 12;43(3):180-182. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.1001-0939.2020.03.007. Chinese.

Citations Reporting on Results

Holland AE, Hill CJ, Rochford P, Fiore J, Berlowitz DJ, McDonald CF. Telerehabilitation for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: feasibility of a simple, real time model of supervised exercise training. J Telemed Telecare. 2013 Jun;19(4):222-6. doi: 10.1177/1357633X13487100. Epub 2013 May 23.

Cascella M, Rajnik M, Cuomo A, Dulebohn SC, Di Napoli R. Features, Evaluation and Treatment Coronavirus (COVID-19). 2020 May 18. StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554776/

Busija L, Pausenberger E, Haines TP, Haymes S, Buchbinder R, Osborne RH. Adult measures of general health and health-related quality of life: Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36-Item (SF-36) and Short Form 12-Item (SF-12) Health Surveys, Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 6D (SF-6D), Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3), Quality of Well-Being Scale (QWB), and Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL). Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Nov;63 Suppl 11:S383-412. doi: 10.1002/acr.20541. Review.

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