Background and Aims

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges to clinical research, necessitating the adoption of innovative and remote methods to conduct studies. This study aimed to investigate these challenges and propose solutions for conducting clinical research during the pandemic.


A narrative review was conducted (approval ID: IR.AMS.REC.1401.029), utilizing keyword searches in PubMed and Web of Science (WOS) citation index expanded (SCI-EXPANDED) from January 2020 to January 2023. Keywords included COVID-19, clinical research, barriers, obstacles, facilitators and enablers.


Out of 2508 records retrieved, 43 studies were reviewed, providing valuable insights into the challenges and corresponding solutions for conducting clinical research during the COVID-19 pandemic. The identified challenges were categorized into four main groups: issues related to researchers or investigators, issues related to participants and ethical concerns, administrative issues, and issues related to research implementation. To address these challenges, multiple strategies were proposed, including remote monitoring through phone or video visits, online data collection and interviews to minimize in-person contact, development of virtual platforms for participant interaction and questionnaire completion, consideration of financial incentives, adherence to essential criteria such as inclusion and exclusion parameters, participant compensation, and risk assessment for vulnerable patients.


The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted clinical research, requiring the adaptation and enhancement of existing research structures. Although remote methods and electronic equipment have limitations, they hold promise as effective solutions during this challenging period.

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