The COVID-19 rehabilitation pandemic

Sarah De Biase, Laura Cook, Dawn A. Skelton, Miles Witham, Ruth Ten Hove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)
114 Downloads (Pure)


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the response to the pandemic are combining to produce a tidal wave of need for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation will be needed for survivors of COVID-19, many of whom are older, with underlying health problems. In addition, rehabilitation will be needed for those who have become deconditioned as a result of movement restrictions, social isolation, and inability to access healthcare for pre-existing or new non-COVID-19 illnesses. Delivering rehabilitation in the same way as before the pandemic will not be practical, nor will this approach meet the likely scale of need for rehabilitation. This commentary reviews the likely rehabilitation needs of older people both with and without COVID-19 and discusses how strategies to deliver effective rehabilitation at scale can be designed and implemented in a world living with COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-700
Number of pages5
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number5
Early online date29 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • rehabilitation
  • COVID-19
  • organisational delivery
  • service design
  • older people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Ageing


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