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Survey of doctors

Sharma, Nitasha; Soni, Abha Bang1; Andrade, Chittaranjan2

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Indian Journal of Psychiatry: Sep–Oct 2020 - Volume 62 - Issue 5 - p 591
doi: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_980_20
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We compliment Chatterjee et al.[1] for studying attitude, practice, behavior, and mental health impact of COVID-19 in doctors in West Bengal. We are concerned, however, that their sample of 152 subjects, not stratified for any important population demographic, is unlikely to be representative of the tens of thousands of doctors who practice in the state. Furthermore, because the sample was obtained through E-mails and appeals on social media, and not through a recognized method of sampling, there could have been substantial sampling bias that would compromise the validity of the study. This method of sampling also does not have a clearly defined sampling frame, and so it is unclear to what population the results of the study can be generalized.

We are also concerned that the authors appear to have used the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS)-21 as a diagnostic instrument with no validated cutoffs stated in their paper. Thus, for example, their categorization of respondents into depressed and nondepressed categories lacks validity. Finally, although the DASS-21 has 3 subscales, the authors reported a single value of Cronbach's alpha for the instrument; they should have reported Cronbach's alpha for each subscale separately because this test of internal consistency assumes unidimensionality in the items of the scale.[2]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1. Chatterjee SS, Bhattacharyya R, Bhattacharyya S, Gupta S, Das S, Banerjee BB. Attitude, practice, behavior, and mental health impact of COVID-19 on doctors Indian J Psychiatry. 2020;62:257–65
2. Tavakol M, Dennick R. Making sense of Cronbach's alpha Int J Med Educ. 2011;2:53–5
© 2020 Indian Journal of Psychiatry | Published by Wolters Kluwer – Medknow