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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-50

The state of pulmonary rehabilitation in latin america during the COVID-19 pandemic

1 Disability Department Municipality of Ituzaingó, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Washington University School of Medicine; The Rehabilitation Institute of Saint Louis, St Louis, MO, USA
3 University of Louisville Health Frazier Rehabilitation and Neuroscience Centers; University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA
4 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center; The Institute of Rehabilitation & Research (TIRR) Memorial Hermann, Houston, TX, USA
5 National Institute of Respiratory Diseases “Ismael Cosío Villegas” (INER), Mexico
6 Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico
7 Biomedical Research Doctorate Program, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa; Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Barakaldo, Spain
8 Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Barakaldo; IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao; Department of Cell Biology and Histology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Melina Longoni Di Giusto
Municipality of Ituzaingo, Buenos Aires
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.jisprm_30_20

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Background: In December 2019, China reported a severe upper respiratory failure syndrome caused by a new virus identified as coronavirus COVID-19. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this exploratory study is to outline the current state of pulmonary rehabilitation in Latin American (LA) countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: A total of 1162 rehabilitation professionals (rehabilitation medicine specialists and residents, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists) from 20 countries in LA answered a 34-question online survey related to the current state of pulmonary rehabilitation in LA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: More than half of the professionals reported the absence of pulmonary rehabilitation services in their work centers, limited or non-existent pulmonary rehabilitation materials or equipment, and little or no training by their multidisciplinary team and themselves. Regarding COVID-19, 49.2% of the respondents indicated not receiving the necessary material for the protection against COVID-19, and more than half reported limited equipment to perform interventions in patients hospitalized by this disease, and not to have clear about the recommendations to prescribe pulmonary physiotherapy in these patients. Moreover, almost all the professionals did not feel capable of treating patients with lung disease from COVID-19 and felt anxiety doing it. Conclusion: Pulmonary rehabilitation is vital for providing optimal care for respiratory impairments, and this relationship has been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This manuscript highlights the limited professional training and resource availability in LA and provides recommendations to improve the current situation.

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