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ADOPTED PROJECT: Supported remote rehabilitation post Covid-19

Development, deployment, and evaluation of a digitally enabled rehabilitation programme

Chief Investigator:  Professor Elizabeth Murray – University College London, Dr Henry Goodfellow – University College London Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care

Project Team Members: Dr Katherine Bradbury – University Of Southampton, Dr Stuart Linke – Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Chris Robson – University College London,  Professor Fiona Stevenson – University College London Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, Dr Manuel Gomes – University College London Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, Dr Fiona Hamilton – University College London Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, Professor Ann Blandford – University College London, Professor John Hurst – University College London, Professor Delmiro Fernandez- Reyes – University College London, Professor William Henley – University of Exeter Medical School, Dr Melissa Heightman – University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Paul Pfeffer – Barts Health NHS Trust, Dr William Ricketts – Barts Health NHS Trust, Ms Hannah Hylton – Barts Health NHS, Trust Dr Richa Singh – Barts Health NHS Trust, Ms Julia Bindman – Patient and Public Involvement contributor based in England.

Organisations Involved:  Living With, NHS England, various NHS trusts, AHSN Wessex, UCL Partners.

Background: Covid-19 had affected nearly 300,000 patients in the UK by 6/7/20. Many remain symptomatic with breathlessness, fatigue, and anxiety for weeks or months. These symptoms can be improved with rehabilitation, but traditional, face-to-face models of service delivery will struggle to cope with these large numbersof patients. A digital approach is likely to be needed, but there are numerous challenges with this approach, including failures of implementation; anxieties around the digital divide/health inequalities; and concerns around low engagement with such programmes.

Aim: To refine, deploy and evaluate a digitally- mediated, remote, supported rehabilitation programme for patients affected by Covid-19.Methods: We will combine research methods common to engineering and computer science (focused on developing a product that is safe, stable and meets user requirements) with those familiar to biomedical and health service researchers (focused on effectiveness and population impact). Thus, we will apply the Medical Research Council (MRC) Framework for development and evaluation of complex interventions (Phases 1, 2 and 4)

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