Indian Journal of Medical Research

: 2020  |  Volume : 152  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 128--129

Authors' response

Pranab Chatterjee1, Tanu Anand2, Kh Jitenkumar Singh3, Reeta Rasaily4, Ravinder Singh5, Santasabuj Das6, Harpreet Singh7, Ira Praharaj8, Raman R Gangakhedkar8, Balram Bhargava9, Samiran Panda10,  
1 Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, New Delhi, India
2 Multidisciplinary Research Unit/Model Rural Health Research Unit, New Delhi, India
3 ICMR-National Institute of Medical Statistics, New Delhi, India
4 Division of Reproductive Biology, Maternal Health & Child Health, New Delhi, India
5 Division of Non-Communicable Diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
6 Division of Clinical Medicine, ICMR-National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
7 Informatics, Systems & Research Management Cell, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
8 Division of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
9 Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
10 ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Samiran Panda
ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, Pune, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Chatterjee P, Anand T, Singh KJ, Rasaily R, Singh R, Das S, Singh H, Praharaj I, Gangakhedkar RR, Bhargava B, Panda S. Authors' response.Indian J Med Res 2020;152:128-129

How to cite this URL:
Chatterjee P, Anand T, Singh KJ, Rasaily R, Singh R, Das S, Singh H, Praharaj I, Gangakhedkar RR, Bhargava B, Panda S. Authors' response. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Mar 3 ];152:128-129
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Full Text

We thank Kunte et al[1] for a critical reading of our article[2] and expressing their appreciation for our work on the prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in healthcare workers (HCWs). The authors[1] found our study design to be suitable and the issues we covered while exploring factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCWs appropriate. It also did not escape the notice of the authors of the letter[1] that we had underscored the importance of use of personal protective equipment, as a preventive strategy in conjunction with HCQ.

The lower response rate in our study, as has been pointed out, is a known limitation of a telephone-based survey method. It has been seen that while face-to-face surveys are able to cover wider grounds and attain greater representativeness, telephone surveys may need to approach a larger sample of population to compensate for non-participation. However, telephone-based surveys perform better compared to online, mail, or self-reported data collection methods[3],[4]. We tried to maximize the response rates by reaching out to non-responders by calling them over the phone two additional times, preferably at a different time than the previous call. Worth noting was that the response rates (61% in cases and 68% in controls) in our study were higher compared to the rates encountered in other studies that engaged HCWs in India (paediatricians: 57%)[5], Germany (physicians: 56%)[6], France (physicians: 59%)[7] and the USA (internists: 64%)[8].

Our study did not seek to establish the difference in clinical severity of COVID-19 between HCWs taking HCQ prophylaxis and those not taking it. Answering this question would require a differently designed investigation. We find the authors' proposition of a built-up period of HCQ administration before engaging in clinical care of COVID-19 patients interesting. However, this would need to be based on the data generated through prospective HCQ prophylaxis study. We found associations through case-control investigation, which were indicative of the prophylactic effect of HCQ, and highlighted the need for clinical trials as also suggested by Kunte et al[1].


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2Chatterjee P, Anand T, Singh Kh, Rasaily R, Singh R, Das S, et al. Healthcare workers and SARS-CoV-2 infection in India: A case-control investigation in the time of COVID-19. IndianJ Med Res 2020; 151 : 459-67.
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