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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310834


Background:  People with neurological dysfunction have been significantly affected by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis in receiving adequate and quality rehabilitation services. There are no clear guidelines or recommendations for rehabilitation providers in dealing with patients with neurological dysfunction during a pandemic situation especially in low- and middle-income countries. The objective of this paper was to develop consensus-based expert recommendations for in-hospital based neurorehabilitation during the COVID-19 pandemic for low- and middle-income countries based on available evidence.  Methods: : A group of experts in neurorehabilitation consisting of neurologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists were identified for the consensus groups. A scoping review was conducted to identify existing evidence and recommendations for neurorehabilitation during COVID-19. Specific statements with level 2b evidence from studies identified were developed. These statements were circulated to 13 experts for consensus. The statements that received ≥80% agreement were grouped in different themes and the recommendations were developed.  Results: : 75 statements for expert consensus were generated. 72 statements received consensus from 13 experts. These statements were thematically grouped as recommendations for neurorehabilitation service providers, patients, formal and informal caregivers of affected individuals, rehabilitation service organizations, and administrators.  Conclusions: : The development of this consensus statement is of fundamental significance to neurological rehabilitation service providers and people living with neurological disabilities. It is crucial that governments, health systems, clinicians and stakeholders involved in upholding the standard of neurorehabilitation practice in low- and middle-income countries consider conversion of the consensus statement to minimum standard requirements within the context of the pandemic as well as for the future.