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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

The impact of COVID-19 on rehabilitation and proposal for a new organization: A report from Lombardy, Italy

1 Department of Rehabilitation, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan (MI), Italy
2 Department of Neurorehabilitation Sciences, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan (MI), Italy
3 Unit of Rehabilitation and Functional Recovery, ASST Settelaghi, Varese (VA), Italy
4 Unit of Specialistic Rehabilitation Medicine and General Geriatric Rehabilitation, Fondazione Richiedei, Gussago (BS), Italy
5 Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese (VA); Unit of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, IRCCS Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, Tradate (VA), Italy
6 Department of Rehabilitation, Spalenza Center, IRCCS Don Gnocchi Foundation, Milan (MI), Italy
7 Valduce Hospital, Villa Beretta Rehabilitation Center, Costa Masnaga (LC), Italy
8 Department of Rehabilitation, IRCCS Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano (MI), Italy
9 Department of Rehabilitation, ASST Pini CTO Hospital, Milan (MI), Italy
10 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Neurorehabilitation, ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, Milan (MI), Italy

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Francesco Negrini
IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Via Riccardo Galeazzi, 4, 20161 Milan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JISPRM-000108

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Italy has been one of the first-hit and most affected countries worldwide by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, and Lombardy accounts for almost half of all Italian cases. Vulnerable population is the one suffering the most from the current epidemic, without guaranteed access to basic needs. This aspect becomes critical for people experiencing disability, either due or not to COVID-19. To face the pandemic, all the regional health system services, rehabilitation ones included, were forced to radically adapt their operating paradigm and even sometimes to leave their intrinsic mission. The Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER) since the beginning of the outbreak was profoundly involved in the clinical and organizational response to COVID-19. The Lombardy regional group cooperated strictly and continuously with the national group to coordinate rehabilitation processes region wide. The paper presents a brief report of our field experience describing the phases faced since the beginning of the pandemic and suggesting the organizational strategies that could be useful in rehabilitation services for both inpatients and outpatients. Springing from literature and the experience of the Lombardy section of SIMFER, this paper should help clinicians to respond to the need of the disabled patient facing the new COVID-19 outbreak.

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