Challenges and opportunities in mixed method data collection on mental health issues of health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in India

Ragini Kulkarni, Ranjan K. Prusty, Tapas Chakma, Beena Thomas, Geetha R. Menon, Ravinder Singh, Sumit Aggarwal, M. V. V. Rao, Murugesan Periyasamy, Chitra Venkateswaran, Prashant K. Singh, Rakesh Balachandar, Ashoo Grover, Bijay K. Mishra, Maribon Viray, Rekha Devi, Gajanan Velhal, Swapnil Kharnare, Jitenkumar Singh, Jeetendra Yadav, U. Venkatesh, Deepika Sadawarte, Basilea Watson, Denny John, Geethu Mathew, Shalini Singh, Kiran Jakhar, Asha Ketharam, Subrata K. Palo, Krushna C. Sahoo, Jugal Kishore, Abu H. Sarkar, Samiran Panda


Background: The present paper describes the key challenges and opportunities of mixed method telephonic data collection for mental health research using field notes and the experiences of the investigators in a multicenter study in ten sites of India. The study was conducted in public and private hospitals to understand the mental health status, social stigma and coping strategies of different healthcare personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

Methods: Qualitative and quantitative interviews were conducted telephonically. The experiences of data collection were noted as a field notes/diary by the data collectors and principal investigators.

Results: The interviewers reported challenges such as network issues, lack of transfer of visual cues and sensitive content of data. Although the telephonic interviews present various challenges in mixed method data collection, it can be used as an alternative to face-to-face data collection using available technology.

Conclusions: It is important that the investigators are well trained keeping these challenges in mind so that their capacity is built to deal with these challenges and good quality data is obtained.


Health care workers, COVID-19, Mental health, Mixed method, Telephonic, India

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