A new study published in the International Journal of Dermatology has uncovered the drastic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on clinical research. According to the study authors from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the number of dermatology publications plummeted significantly over the course of the pandemic, with 149 dermatology-related studies published in September 2019 to only 27 published in September 2020.
Pre-COVID-19 publications spanned a wide range of topics, with melanoma, psoriasis, scarring, acne, atopic dermatitis, and vitiligo being the most commonly studied conditions. During the pandemic, however, these conditions received far less academic attention.
The study authors point to a variety of explanations for the decline in publications, such as social distancing guidelines, a delayed peer review process, and prioritization of pandemic-related research.