UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiovascular Diseases | Clinical Trials | Epidemiology | Infectious Disease | International Public Health | Virus Diseases


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound worldwide impact. Vietnam, a lower middle-income country with limited resources, has successfully slowed this pandemic. The objectives of this report are to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the research activities of an ongoing hypertension trial using a storytelling intervention in Vietnam.

METHODS: Data were collected in a mixed-methods study among 86 patients and 10 health care workers participating in a clinical trial designed to improve hypertension control. Several questions related to the impact of COVID-19 on patient's daily activities and adherence to the study interventions were included in the follow-up visits. A focus group discussion was conducted among health care workers to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on research related activities.

RESULTS: Fewer patients in the intervention group reported that they faced difficulties in adhering to prescribed study interventions, wanted to receive a call from a dedicated hotline, or have a visit from a community health worker as compared with those in the comparison group. Most study patients are willing to participate in future health research studies. When asked about the potential use of mobile phones in health research studies, fewer patients in the intervention group felt comfortable using a mobile phone for the delivery of intervention and interviews compared with those in the comparison condition. Community health workers shared that they visited patient's homes more often than previously due to the pandemic and health care workers had to perform more virus containment activities without a corresponding increase in ancillary staff.

CONCLUSIONS: Both patients and health care workers in Vietnam faced difficulties in adhering to recommended trial interventions and procedures. Multiple approaches for intervention delivery and data collection are needed to overcome these difficulties during future health crises and enhance the implementation of future research studies.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registration number: (registration date July 17, 2018).


COVID 19, Pandemics, Vietnam, Cell phones, Medical personnel, Public and occupational health, Physicians, Hypertension

Rights and Permissions

Copyright: © 2021 Nguyen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Nguyen HL, Tran OT, Ha DA, Phan VH, Nguyen CT, Nguyen GH, Nguyen TT, Chiriboga G, Goldberg RJ, Allison JJ. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical research activities: Survey of study participants and health care workers participating in a hypertension trial in Vietnam. PLoS One. 2021 Jul 15;16(7):e0253664. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253664. PMID: 34264973; PMCID: PMC8282007. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PloS one

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.