Funding for this research was provided by:
South African Medical Research Council (2017SAMRC0SIR0000157977)
The Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (2018/2019HWSETA219986789)
Received: 2 June 2021
Accepted: 10 November 2021
First Online: 22 November 2021
: The Human Research Ethics Committees at Walter Sisulu University, Nelson Mandela University, and the Eastern Cape Department of Health granted ethics approval for the study, and permission for data collection at the study site was obtained from the hospital manager. All patients admitted to the unit during the study period were provided with an information leaflet on the study in English or Xhosa and requested to take part. The capacity to consent was assessed using a simplified method based on the University of California Brief Assessment of Capacity to Consent [CitationRef removed–CitationRef removed]. This simplified method was a shortened version due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which required minimized contact time with participants or relatives to decrease the chances of infection. For those who lacked the capacity to consent, proxy consent was sought from the closest relative. This ensured the protection of participant rights while still enabled the inclusion of participants or groups who could potentially benefit from scientific advances gained from research, as outlined in the Helsinki Declaration on ethical research [CitationRef removed, CitationRef removed]. The Department of Health Guidelines on Ethics in Health Research supported this approach [CitationRef removed]. All data were anonymized and stored securely with access to the research team.
: Not applicable.
: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.