Physiotherapy practices when treating patients with COVID-19 during a pandemic : A survey study

Journal article


Trojman, Anthony, Hough, Judith, Hides, Julie, Gustafsson, Louise, Flores, Orlando and Paratz, Jennifer. (2023). Physiotherapy practices when treating patients with COVID-19 during a pandemic : A survey study. Heart and Lung. 57, pp. 152-160. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2022.09.012
AuthorsTrojman, Anthony, Hough, Judith, Hides, Julie, Gustafsson, Louise, Flores, Orlando and Paratz, Jennifer
Abstract

Background Specific details pertaining to the clinical and other challenges faced by physiotherapists managing patients with COVID-19 during the pandemic are still largely unknown.

Objectives To determine how physiotherapists clinically managed patients with COVID-19 in a hospital-based setting during the pandemic and to identify the personal and professional effects of working as a physiotherapist at this time.

Methods Self-administered electronic cross-sectional survey. Participants included physiotherapists from around the world involved in the clinical management of patients with COVID-19.

Results Of the 204 participants who returned the questionnaire, 39% worked as senior physiotherapists, 29% as consultant or specialist physiotherapists, 23% as general physiotherapists and 4% as graduate physiotherapists. Seventy-two percent of participants worked in the intensive care unit. The largest barrier to treating patients with COVID-19 was a lack of intensive care trained physiotherapists (70%). Eighty-three percent of participants reported performing activities outside of their typical work duties, including proning patients (55%), tutoring and advising other staff in the intensive care unit (55%) and adjusting or changing ventilator settings (52%). Almost all participants (90%) reported being aware of physiotherapy specific guidelines for treating patients with COVID-19, yet most participants performed techniques that were not recommended.

Conclusions The experience of the pandemic highlighted the need for specialist training and availability of experienced cardiorespiratory physiotherapists to manage patients with COVID-19, specifically in intensive care. Furthermore, clear guidelines on the management of patients with COVID-19 should be established to ensure optimal management of patients and ensure the safety of physiotherapy staff.

Keywordsphysiotherapy; COVID-19; cardiorespiratory; respiratory; survey
Year2023
JournalHeart and Lung
Journal citation57, pp. 152-160
PublisherElsevier Inc.
ISSN0147-9563
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2022.09.012
PubMed ID36209724
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85139311104
PubMed Central IDPMC9536211
Page range152-160
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Sep 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Sep 2022
Deposited11 Jan 2023
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