Research Activity among Academic Medical Staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Marrakesh
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AbstractIntroduction. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the medical academic institutions and their activities. Our aim was to describe the research activity (COVID-19-related or preexisting research) of the academic staff at the medical school in Marrakesh, Morocco. Methodology. An online survey among faculty members explored the COVID-19-related research activity as well as the impact of the pandemic on preexisting research, related challenges, and coping strategies. The form was distributed via e-mail. Data analyses involved univariate and bivariate methods. Findings. We analyzed 55 responses. A proportion of 58.2% of respondents reported conducting COVID-19-related research, while 40% reported that routine research activities were suspended as a result of the pandemic. Major challenges to research in this context were the clinical activity workload, limited access to patients, and research personnel shortage. Coping strategies included adopting remote work and using communication technologies. Conclusion. Despite the many challenges facing the academic researchers to implement COVID-19-related research and to maintain preexisting research activity, there are opportunities to promote academic medical research in the developing world alongside at the global level. Our results should help in documenting and understanding the impact of this pandemic as well as framing appropriate strategies in the future to address similar situations.