Hospital in UAE launches support group for Covid-19 patients


A support system launched by a UAE hospital group aims to ensure the “holistic well-being” of Covid-19 patients and help them deal with psychological and physiological challenges.

Aster Hospitals said the rising number of patient cases globally and significant number of recoveries have brought to front the rehabilitation needs of recovered cases. Such patients “may have become deconditioned due to long periods of isolation, mental trauma caused by fear or uncertainty regarding the disease and long periods of critical care requiring intubation or ventilator support, movement restrictions and related complications”.

The patient support group called ‘Cosmos’ aims to specifically address this. A dedicated team will focus on motivating patients recovering in isolation; help them deal with mental trauma, feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness through recovery sessions; and aid them in post-discharge rehabilitation through physical therapy, nutrition advice and mental health support. Cosmos, which stands for ‘Circle of Strength, Master of Self’, provides a platform for Covid-19 patients admitted at the hospitals to connect with each other, share their thoughts, participate in educative sessions and stay connected with their doctors, dieticians and family members through a digital application.

The initiative will include educative sessions, friendly conversations and interactive games in designated lobbies within the Covid zone ward for positive patients to come together.

Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO of Aster Hospitals, said: “We have seen our patients go through various levels of mental stress … brought about by separation from families and loved ones, and uncertainty regarding the outcome from this disease. Many of them are expats with families back in their home country who are even otherwise constantly worried. For them, sustained motivation and support in channeling their emotional stress is a key factor in the holistic recovery process. Patients who have undergone long periods of intensive care often require psychological support and nutritional diet to regain strength and psychological normalcy. Cosmos is our effort to ensure that our patients return home completely healed.”

A recovery session hosted at Aster Hospital, Qusais, saw recovered Covid-19 patients share their recovery experience and seeking advice from the doctors on further care.

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