The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a severe ongoing global emergency. Despite high rates of asymptomatic patients, in many cases, the infection causes a rapid decline in pulmonary function due to an acute respiratory distress-like syndrome, leading to multi-organ failure and death. To date, recommendations about rehabilitation on COVID-19 are based on clinical data derived from other similar lung diseases. Rehabilitation literature lacks a standard taxonomy, limiting a proper evaluation of the most effective treatments for patients after COVID-19 infection. In this study, we assessed the clinical and rehabilitative associations and the geographical area involved in interstitial lung diseases (ILD) and in COVID-19, by a mathematical analysis based on graph theory. We performed a quantitative analysis of the literature in terms of lexical analysis and on how words are connected to each other. Despite a large difference in timeframe (throughout the last 23 years for ILD and in the last 1.5 years for COVID-19), the numbers of papers included in this study were similar. Our results show a clear discrepancy between rehabilitation proposed for COVID-19 and ILD. In ILD, the term “rehabilitation” and other related words such as “exercise” and “program” resulted in lower values of centrality and higher values of eccentricity, meaning relatively less importance of the training during the process of care in rehabilitation of patients with ILD. Conversely, “rehabilitation” was one of the most cited terms in COVID-19 literature, strongly associated with terms such as “exercise”, “physical”, and “program”, entailing a multidimensional approach of the rehabilitation for these patients. This could also be due to the widespread studies conducted on rehabilitation on COVID-19, with Chinese and Italian researchers more involved. The assessment of the terms used for the description of the rehabilitation may help to program shared rehabilitation knowledge and avoid literature misunderstandings.
Developing pulmonary rehabilitation for COVID-19: Are we linked with the present literature? a lexical and geographical evaluation study based on the graph theory / Fusco, A.; Padua, L.; Coraci, D.; Loreti, C.; Castelli, L.; Costantino, C.; Frizziero, A.; Serafini, E.; Biscotti, L.; Bernabei, R.; Giovannini, S.. - In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 2077-0383. - 10:24(2021), p. 5763.5763. [10.3390/jcm10245763]
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