Briefing paper focuses on rehabilitation and the vital role of physiotherapy

WCPT has published a briefing paper on rehabilitation and the vital role of physiotherapy, as part of the response by the global physiotherapy profession to COVID-19.

The briefing paper focuses on rehabilitation as it applies to individuals and considers wider systems issues as they relate to physiotherapy.

The paper focuses on:

  • acute physiotherapy management of patients with COVID-19
  • rehabilitation of people after COVID-19
  • people living with a disability and frail older people: immediate and episodic rehabilitation
  • people with short-term rehabilitation needs where routine care has been suspended
  • return to work
  • rehabilitation with public health restrictions
  • service delivery

WCPT president Emma Stokes said: ‘There have been significant changes in the practice of physiotherapy, as part of the global response to COVID-19. Physiotherapists have played an integral role within multi-professional teams to deliver coordinated rehabilitation and work in cross-sector partnerships.

‘As demand on acute services reduces, attention must be given to the rehabilitation needs of people post COVID-19 and the wider population with non-COVID related rehabilitation needs.

‘Rehabilitation, often overlooked and underfunded, is more important now more than ever before. At a time of economic challenge, it should be supported as a key health service to ensure individuals can live independently and contribute to their communities and society. Affordable and accessible rehabilitation will be instrumental to recovery.

‘Physiotherapists are very well positioned to deliver rehabilitation as well as to advise on the development of cost-effective innovative rehabilitation strategies and their implementation.’

The briefing paper is the second in a series planned by WCPT exploring the response of the global physiotherapy profession to COVID-19. The next rehabilitation paper will consider the impact of COVID-19 and rehabilitation in fragile systems and vulnerable communities.

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