Inaugural International Forum on COVID Rehabilitation Research

The Rehabilitation Science Research Network for COVID held its inaugural International Forum on COVID Rehabilitation Research on Friday, April 21, 2023 at the University of Toronto. 

The Network, co-led by Jill Cameron and Kelly O’Brien, led the planning and implementation of this Forum. This hybrid (online and in-person) event brought together over 250 people from over 20 countries to hear from more than 20 guest speakers who presented emerging evidence in COVID rehabilitation, spanning acute COVID to Long COVID.  

Attendees included persons with lived experiences, clinicians, researchers, policy stakeholders, representatives from community-based organizations and funders who contributed to the rich discussions. 

The Forum aimed to exchange knowledge of COVID rehabilitation research and practices between international experts and disseminate knowledge far and wide. The Forum also provided opportunities to establish new and strengthen existing research collaborations and partnerships in the field of COVID rehabilitation. Throughout the course of the day, attendees engaged in discussions about perspectives on emerging issues and research priorities in COVID rehabilitation.  These priorities will help to guide the future activities of the Network in the year ahead. 

The Forum included a keynote presentation from Todd Davenport, Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, on his instrumental work on safe rehabilitation for people living with Long COVID. A second keynote included a discussion panel comprised of community leaders who shared their experiences in COVID rehabilitation research. Embedded within the keynotes were two research evidence sessions, with five speakers each, who shared current research related to disability, rehabilitation approaches and interventions, and models of care in the context of acute and Long COVID. 

This Forum, funded by Temerty Faculty of Medicine, was a collaboration with the multiple partners and members of the Network who have been instrumental in advancing evidence and practice in COVID rehabilitation, including Long COVID Physio, the Rehabilitative Care Alliance, Patient-Led Research Collaborative, and FISIOCAMERA. 

Find more information about the Forum, including links to the video recordings from the speaker sessions, online.