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vol.69 issue2South African hearing conservation programmes in the context of tele-audiology: A scoping review author indexsubject indexarticles search
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South African Journal of Communication Disorders

On-line version ISSN 2225-4765
Print version ISSN 0379-8046


KHOZA-SHANGASE, Katijah; MONROE, Nomfundo  and  SEBOTHOMA, Ben. Conducting clinical research in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and lessons for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology research. S. Afr. J. Commun. Disord. [online]. 2022, vol.69, n.2, pp.1-14. ISSN 2225-4765.

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presented new and unanticipated challenges to the academic training and performance of clinical research at undergraduate and postgraduate levels of training. This highlighted the need for reimagining research designs and methods to ensure continued generation of knowledge - a core function of a research-intensive university. Whilst adhering to government regulations geared towards protecting both the research participants and researchers, innovative research methods are required OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this scoping review is to explore published evidence on innovative clinical research methods and processes employed during COVID-19 and to document challenges encountered and lessons that the fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology can learn METHODS: Electronic bibliographic databases including Science Direct, PubMed, Scopus, MEDLINE, ProQuest were searched to identify peer-reviewed publications, published in English, between 2019 and 2021, related to innovative clinical research methods and processes applied where in-person contact is regulated RESULTS: Significant challenges with conducting research in the COVID-19 era were identified, with important lessons learned and numerous opportunities that have relevance for this pandemic era and beyond. These findings are presented under 10 themes that emerged that highlight important considerations for research methods and processes during a pandemic and beyond. The findings of this study also raise implications for telehealth from which low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where resource challenges exist, can benefit CONCLUSION: Challenges and opportunities identified in this review have relevance for the field of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology as far as current and future (beyond COVID-19) clinical research planning is concerned

Keywords : audiology; challenges; clinical research; COVID-19; ethical considerations; lessons; Speech-Language Pathology; South Africa.

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