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LETTERS TO EDITOR  
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 447-448
Comments on “Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on general population in West Bengal: A cross-sectional study”


Deaprtment of Psychiatry, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India

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Date of Submission01-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance20-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication27-Jul-2020
 

How to cite this article:
Khanra S, Goyal N, Khess CR. Comments on “Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on general population in West Bengal: A cross-sectional study”. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:447-8

How to cite this URL:
Khanra S, Goyal N, Khess CR. Comments on “Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on general population in West Bengal: A cross-sectional study”. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 9];62:447-8. Available from: http://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2020/62/4/447/291000




Sir,

We have read the article by Chakraborty and Chatterjee [1] titled, “Psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on general population in West Bengal: A cross-sectional study” with interest. The authors aimed to “evaluate the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the general public.”First, we would like to discourage use of phrase like “general public” in peer-reviewed literature. Second, going back to the aim of the study as mentioned in the abstract, which was to assess psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic among general population in West Bengal, we find that interchangeable use of “general public” and “general population” is loose and not welcome. Third, any sample for scientific research should be drawn from a defined population and sampling method should be rationally adopted based on the aim and hypothesis of a study which is missing in the article. The authors chose WhatsApp-based survey. How participants were contacted on WhatsApp? Individually or in groups or both? If individually, how were they chosen? From contact list or by any other means? If from contact list, then contact list of one or both researchers? If by groups, then how were the groups chosen? Were the groups selected only where researchers were a member, or did members of a group kept forwarding the link to other groups? Were duplicate responses by same participant checked? Also, links were open only for 48 h; reason of such a short duration has not been justified. These issues grossly limited generalizability of the result obtained in the study, thereby thwarting the aim of the study. The authors might have a look into an article by Ameen and Praharaj [2] where they have discussed about drawbacks of a WhatsApp-based survey which are applicable in this study too. Fourth, how was the self-designed questionnaire developed has not been mentioned. Was any guideline followed? Did the authors consult any previous research work? How was the content validity established? Eysenbach [3] had discussed about a checklist to improve quality of web surveys which would be useful to conduct future web-based surveys. Fifth, the authors mentioned “this survey consciously made an attempt to keep health care professional out of the ambit …”. This type of statement also diluted the methods of the study adding to shortcomings mentioned above. Furthermore, this clearly indicates that the authors adopted a convenient sampling approach which is far from appropriate for their current study. Sixth, the authors kept “able to read English” as an inclusion criterion. We wonder how this could be an inclusion criterion for a sample in West Bengal where 85.27% of total population speaks Bengali and only 1.71% of total population speaks English.[4],[5] Seventh, in discussion on “feeling worried” and “depressed” and having “disturbed sleep,” the authors compared with rates of “community sample,” but surprisingly did not care to cite any literature. Eighth, how did the authors reach the conclusion that 'the pandemic threatened the existence of the respondents.' is not clear. The conclusion went beyond the scope of their study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Chakraborty K, Chatterjee M. Psychological impact of COVID19 pandemic on general population in West Bengal: A cross-sectional study. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:266-72.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Ameen S, Praharaj SK. Problems in using WhatsApp groups for survey research. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:327-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
Eysenbach G. Improving the quality of Web surveys: The Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES). J Med Internet Res 2004;6:e34.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner. Linguistic Survey of India West Bengal Part – I. India: Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, Available from: https://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011-documents/lsi/ling_wb.html. [Last accessed on 2020 May 29].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Provisional Population Totals at a Glance Figure: 2011- West Bengal. Available from: https://censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/prov_data_products_wb.html. [Last accessed on 2020 May 29].  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Sourav Khanra
Deaprtment of Psychiatry, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, Jharkhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_607_20

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