Effectiveness of an Exercise Re-training Program on Dyspnea in Patients After Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Secondary to Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia in Post-ICU

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Groupe Hospitalier Paris Saint Joseph
Updated on 8 January 2022


Dyspnea is defined by a subjective sensation of respiratory discomfort, the intensity of which varies according to the terrain, the anamnesis and the cause. Resuscitation is associated with many causes of dyspnea, including initial distress, mechanical ventilation, or after-effects following the pathology and its management.

Respiratory distress is the most severe form of impaired lung function. It is the first cause of hospitalization in intensive care. This distress, indicative of the failure of the respiratory system, is always severe and potentially fatal. It therefore constitutes an absolute therapeutic emergency. Dyspnea is often the revealing symptom of the condition and the urgency surrounding its management is an additional factor of concern for the patient. As a result, dyspnea is a pejorative element associated with severity or even death.


During these episodes of respiratory insufficiency, the management is based on ventilatory replacement by generally invasive mechanical ventilation. This allows correction of hematosis disorders but can lead to complications either directly (respiratory infections) or indirectly (neuromuscular complications and/or complications related to prolonged bed rest requiring prolonged re-education). Although mechanical ventilation makes it possible to improve the objective parameters and contributes considerably to improving the prognosis of these patients, it is nevertheless, despite the progress made, often associated with patient breathlessness due to respiratory pathology and difficulties in optimizing the interaction between the individual and the machine.

Resuscitation will also be associated with amyotrophy due to bed rest, inflammation, reduced metabolic possibilities, especially anabolic ones, and the use of certain treatments (corticosteroids, curares). This muscle loss rapidly affects the diaphragm, then secondarily the peripheral muscles in the context of resuscitation neuromyopathy. On the other hand, complications affecting the entire musculoskeletal system will quickly cause the resuscitation patient to suffer from cardiorespiratory desadaptation, reducing the capacity for exertion on discharge and ultimately resulting in dyspnea on exertion.

In patients surviving the initial condition, dyspnea persists and may be reoccurring months or even years later, despite initial rehabilitation. It is strongly associated with anxiety and even fear of death and contributes to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. This persistent feeling of respiratory discomfort, which limits the patient's autonomy in his or her daily activities, seems to be able to reduce quality of life. Moreover, the perpetuation of this dyspnea could promote a spiral of deconditioning leading to a progressive deterioration of the cardio-respiratory system, justifying new hospitalizations.

In patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency, exercise rehabilitation supervised by physiotherapists allows, in addition to improving autonomy, a significant reduction in dyspnea, thus increasing the quality of life of these patients.

Our objective is to evaluate the effect of post-resuscitation respiratory rehabilitation for SARS-Cov-2 in improving dyspnea. Secondly, we will seek to evaluate the correlation between quality of life and post-resuscitation dyspnea.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Condition Dyspnea
Treatment specific exercise rehabilitation treatment
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04569266
SponsorGroupe Hospitalier Paris Saint Joseph
Last Modified on8 January 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patient whose age ≥ 18 years old
Patient who has been hospitalized in an intensive care unit and discharged for at least 3 months
Patient who has had a laboratory confirmed respiratory infection with SARS-Cov-2 biologically confirmed by PCR or any other commercial or public health test or diagnosed by CT scan
Patient who has been undergoing invasive mechanical ventilation during the resuscitation stay for more than 48 consecutive hours
Patient reading or understanding French
Patient affiliated to social security or, failing that, to another health insurance system
Patient capable of giving free, informed and express consent

Exclusion Criteria

Lack of possibility of carrying out rehabilitation sessions
Presence of contraindications to rehabilitation
Severe neurological disease (Parkinson's disease, dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aphasia, constituted ischemic stroke with significant sequelae)
Osteoarticular pathology reducing mobility
Geographic distance (>5km from the rehabilitation center's reference practice)
Patient with a mMRC≤1
Patient deprived of liberty
Patient under guardianship or curatorship
Patient under the protection of justice
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