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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ongoing cardiovascular research projects: considerations and adaptations
European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing  (IF3.908),  Pub Date : 2020-05-16, DOI: 10.1177/1474515120926629
Liesbet Van Bulck, Adrienne H Kovacs, Eva Goossens, Koen Luyckx, Tiny Jaarsma, Anna Strömberg, Philip Moons

COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), was initially identified in December 2019 as a case of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. This outbreak is considered the biggest global health crisis of our times, leading to severe socioeconomic disruption, closures of educational institutions, significant mortality, shortages of medical supplies and major unprecedented challenges for healthcare systems around the world. The impact on healthcare extends beyond COVID-19 management and entails important considerations for clinical services, research and education across primary care and most medical subspecialties; the deferral of activities deemed non-essential (i.e. unrelated to COVID-19 planning and management) are commonplace during this pandemic. Also, patients, providers and researchers in cardiovascular care are highly impacted. Potential challenges for cardiac patients include worrying about delayed diagnostics or treatment and the vulnerability associated with being identified at higher risk of poorer COVID-19 outcomes. Challenges for cardiac healthcare professionals include redeployment to critical care units, the transition to telehealth and additional COVID-19-related professional demands. In this editorial, we highlight unique considerations for researchers who initiated clinical cardiovascular nursing research before the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic and are now faced with unprecedented decision-making dilemmas. We illustrate these considerations with two specific research projects, namely APPROACH-IS II and the Tele-yoga study.