The WFOT warns of an upcoming surge in demand for rehabilitation services

on Thursday, 28 May 2020. Posted in News

The WFOT warns of an upcoming surge in demand for rehabilitation services

The World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) is warning of a demand surge for rehabilitation services for Covid-19 survivors.

Research emerging from coronavirus outbreaks globally is showing “a high need for occupational therapy rehabilitation intervention”, particularly for people:


  • Of advanced age.
  • With multiple chronic diseases.
  • With organ failure.


There is evidence that occupational therapy (OT) and neurorehabilitation are improving outcomes in the initial, acute stage of Covid-19 management.

OT and neuro-rehab are also aiding the long-term recovery of:


  • Improved respiratory function.
  • Exercise endurance.
  • Performance of daily living activities.
  • Managing the psychological and cognitive effects of Covid-19.


Studies of Covid-19 cases have shown intensive care management of symptoms can pose higher long-term risks of cognitive, physical and emotional complications.

Other Covid-19 consequences, such as social distancing, self-isolating and shielding, are also making matters worse for those with:


  • Mental health conditions.
  • Musculoskeletal deterioration.
  • Functional regression.


In its latest Covid-19 statement, the WFOT stressed the pivotal part OT was now playing to support Covid-19 survivors globally.

“Populations around the world have been required to adjust and make compensations to usual routines to participate in ongoing or newly acquired occupations that are necessary for daily life,” it said.

“Occupational therapy has a substantial role in Covid-19 rehabilitation due to the profession’s person-centred approach and expertise in the complex interaction of factors that enable occupational performance.”

“Optimising occupational participation through the provision of occupational therapy provides a cost-effective opportunity to promote health, ensure social inclusion and advance individual and societal recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. “

The WFOT wants equal opportunities to rehabilitation for people affected by COVID- 19 to be a human right.

Occupational therapists enable people to be meaningfully active and productive in their community by using a range of holistic techniques, including:


  • Evidence-informed interventions.
  • Skills training.
  •  Self-management strategies.


The WFOT represents over 550,000 occupational therapists around the world. More on its latest Covid-19 statement and research findings here: WFOT Public statement - Occupational therapy and the rehabilitation of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic


Further reading

What the experts say - stress and anxiety advice for brain injury survivors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Turn off the news, engage with nature, practice mindfulness, stick to a routine, suss your stressors ...

More resources to help brain injury survivors and their families during Covid-19 here: Krysalis public resources

Over 200 stay at home activities for brain injury survivors and their families ...

Twenty apps to boost brain injury rehabilitation ...

Covid-19 Brain injury and me - Diary of an ABI survivor ...

And so much more on our exclusive talking heads blog ...

More about neurological occupational therapy here:

How Krysalis neuro occupational therapists can help:


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