Barriers and challenges faced by Brazilian physiotherapists during the COVID-19 pandemic and innovative solutions: lessons learned and to be shared with other countries
Physiother Theory Pract
The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 that leads to COVID-19 has had an incalculable impact on society, services, and health professionals, including physiotherapists. The field of physiotherapy is currently facing ongoing challenges and pandemic-related repercussions, with Brazilian physiotherapists being especially affected. This article describes the current scenario in Brazil which has exposed the shortage of professionals and resources and reinforces the need for professional recognition, especially of those working in intensive care units. Barriers and challenges faced by Brazilian physiotherapists during the COVID-19 pandemic are described, followed by innovative solutions. Remote physiotherapy prior to the pandemic was merely one of many patient care options, but now has become a necessity, and several international organizations have provided guidelines for physiotherapists to follow, including guidelines on offering digital physiotherapy. Related demands, challenges, and perspectives of physiotherapy practice are likely to emerge amid the current uncertainties of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as during the post-pandemic period. The lessons learned by the Brazilian physiotherapy community may be of assistance to physiotherapists in other countries particularly those with comparable social and demographic characteristics.