Although the acute phase of the pandemic is ebbing, PTs are seeing more patients who are experiencing long-term symptoms of COVID-19, or who were previously diagnosed with the illness — even if they were referred to physical therapy for an unrelated condition.
There's still more to learn about the post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, but PTs and PTAs should be aware of what's known so far, including considerations for treating patients with PASC, and red flags for all patients. APTA offers resources that can help.
APTA has produced a podcast with Rebecca Martin, PT, DPT, PhD, discussing a new briefing paper, "Safe Rehabilitation Approaches for People Living With Long COVID: Physical Activity and Exercise," and toolkit on PASC, also called long-COVID, from World Physiotherapy. Martin, who is a board-certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy and chair of APTA's Cross-Academy/Section COVID-19 Core Outcome Measures Task Force, represented APTA in the development of both documents.
During the podcast, Martin offers highlights from the toolkit — available in English and soon to be translated into 52 additional languages — and covers several important topics, including exercise considerations for patients with PASC and signs and symptoms of dysautomnia.
The toolkit was developed as part of World Physio's focus on rehabilitation and long-COVID for World PT Day on Sept. 8.
Also available: a recording of a June 17 APTA Live Event that features Martin along with Hilary Terhune, PT, MPT, MSc, DHS, and Ashley Parish, PT, DPT. All are members of the Core Outcome Measures Task Force, which in 2020 selected a set of COVID-19 core outcome measures as well as adult and pediatric algorithms for assessing patients across the continuum of care.
In the video, the group discusses the document's development, how measures were selected, and overlap with the new CDC interim guidance on PASC. Participants also share patient case scenarios.
For current COVID-19-related news and educational resources, visit APTA's Coronavirus Resources webpage.