Cardiorespiratory Exercise & Chinese Medicine for Rehabilitation of Discharged Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Patients

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Hong Kong Baptist University
Updated on 3 July 2021


Rehabilitation interventions can help to address the consequences of COVID-19, which include medical, physical, cognitive, and psychological related problems. The specific aims of this project are to investigate the effects of a 12-week exercise program on pulmonary fibrosis in recovering COVID-19 patients. A further aim will be to examine how Chinese herbal medicines, gut microbiome, and metabolites regulate immune function and possibly autoimmune deficiency in the rehabilitation process.


The study will develop a new paradigm for patient rehabilitation needed now and in the future. The specific aims of this project are to investigate the effects of a 12-week program with cardiorespiratory exercise and Chinese herbal medicine on recovering COVID-19 patients and to collect qualitative and quantitative data to examine loneliness, anxiety, depression, quality of life, and mental health. A further aim will be to examine how Chinese herbal medicines, gut microbiome, and the metabolites regulate immune function, intestinal permeability, and possibly autoimmune deficiency (AID) in the pathological recovery/rehabilitation process.

In this multicenter, triple-blinded, randomized, parallel groups, controlled clinical trial, the investigator will recruit adult patients with COVID-19 and have been discharged from the hospital in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland.

A total of 172 eligible patients will be randomized 1:1:1:1 into four groups: cardiorespiratory exercise plus Chinese herbal medicines group, cardiorespiratory exercise group, Chinese herbal medicines group, and waiting list group for 12-week (3 months) with 12-week follow-up period.

A 4-week pilot study will be conducted to test patient recruitment and maintenance, data collection, instrumentation, and observing the adaptability and practicality of the intervention. Amendments will be made if necessary.

Condition Coronavirus Disease
Treatment Cardiorespiratory Exercise, Modified Bai He Gu Jin Tang
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04572360
SponsorHong Kong Baptist University
Last Modified on3 July 2021


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Inclusion Criteria

aged 18 years and above
a percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC) <90%, and/or a percentage of predicted carbon monoxide diffusing capacity < 90% (King 2014)
able to communicate in Cantonese

Exclusion Criteria

having acute exacerbations in the 12-week preceding recruitment patients
having any contraindications for exercise (e.g., physical disability, uncontrolled mental disorders, unstable heart disease, unable to perform muscle strength tests)
Female - Pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the next 1 year
Unable to communicate in Cantonese or Mandarin
Currently participating in other similar rehabilitation programs or research
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