How a Psychopharmacology Clinical Trial Site in the Seattle Area Managed Clinical Trials and Patient Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2020 Sep;28(9):999-1003. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2020.06.012. Epub 2020 Jun 18.


Objectives: As the COVID-19 pandemic developed in March 2020 in greater Seattle, our clinical trial site faced several ethical and clinical dilemmas. We remained open to research patients including high-risk elderly patients and adapted to changing health recommendations.

Methods: Beginning March 14, 2020 we developed an in-person evaluation for potential risk of COVID-19. Included are the first 3 weeks of screening by our physicians for potential exposure to COVID-19, common symptoms, temperature, blood oxygen saturation, and heart rate. Individuals with higher risk (n = 23) were identified and managed.

Results: The 825 evaluations included 37 staff, 167 patients, and 152 visitors. No one needed isolation or transfer to acute care facility, staff attendance was 95%, all 33 geriatric patients continued in phase II trials, and others decreased by 5%.

Conclusion: We share how we incorporated COVID-19 Center for Disease Control health recommendations to a clinical trial center and addition of pulse oximetry.

Keywords: COVID-19; Clinical Trials; Coronavirus; Dementia; Pulse oximeter.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oximetry
  • Pandemics* / prevention & control
  • Patient Care / methods*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Psychopharmacology / methods*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States
  • Washington
  • Young Adult