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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 91-92

Critical comment on “An exploratory study to assess the prevalence and risk factors of malnutrition among under-five children residing in selected rural areas of district Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh”


WHO Consultant, COMAHS, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Date of Submission16-Dec-2019
Date of Decision23-Feb-2020
Date of Acceptance28-Feb-2020
Date of Web Publication23-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Radha Saini
WHO Consultant, COMAHS, Freetown
Sierra Leone
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_79_19

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How to cite this article:
Saini R. Critical comment on “An exploratory study to assess the prevalence and risk factors of malnutrition among under-five children residing in selected rural areas of district Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh”. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2020;5:91-2

How to cite this URL:
Saini R. Critical comment on “An exploratory study to assess the prevalence and risk factors of malnutrition among under-five children residing in selected rural areas of district Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh”. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 15];5:91-2. Available from: http://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2020/5/1/91/283089



I appreciate the article “An exploratory study to assess the prevalence and risk factors of malnutrition among under-five children residing in selected rural areas of district Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh” published in BLDE Univ J Health Sci and for raising an important issue of highlighting the prevalence and risk factors of malnutrition among under-five children.[1] However, I have a few concerns regarding the study design and methodology being adopted in the present study.

First, the authors have mentioned in the subjects and methods section that “quantitative nonexperimental exploratory study was conducted on 200 under-five children and their mothers through purposive sampling techniques residing in selected 10 rural areas of district Sirmaur.”

The most common nonexperimental designs are descriptive or correlational studies. Nonexperimental designs are classified according to the timing of data collection, i.e. cross-sectional or longitudinal or according to the timing of the experience or event being studied, i.e. retrospective, or prospective.[2]

Authors have not mentioned the type of study design adopted by them and how the sample size was calculated? What were the power estimate and the precision? In case, the authors have used any free software and calculators available online for sample size calculation, it needs to be mentioned. How the sample of 200 under-five children was calculated, is not clear. If the sample size is too small, the investigator may not be able to answer the study question.[3] Time frame of the study is not mentioned, i.e., in how many days or months, all these 200 research, participants were recruited by the authors?

Purposive sampling technique is a nonprobability sampling technique in which “elements selected for the sample are chosen by the judgment of the researcher,”[4] and it encompasses various types such as homogeneous sampling, heterogeneous sampling, typical case sampling, extreme/deviant case sampling, critical case, and theoretical sampling techniques. Authors have not mentioned that on the basis of which purposive sampling technique these 200 under-five children were chosen and how the cluster of 10 rural areas was chosen amongst the thousands of rural areas in district Sirmaur of Himachal Pradesh. Which sampling technique was adopted to choose these 10 rural areas? There is also no mention about the inclusion and exclusion criteria adopted by the investigators in selecting these 200 under-five children. What was the number of population of these under-five children in the 10 rural areas and how many children dropped out of the study is also not mentioned?

Basically, validity is defined as the extent to which a concept is accurately measured in a quantitative study, and if the authors state that validity and reliability of the tool was maintained then which type of validity they intended to measure content validity, criterion validity, or construct validity? If a pilot study was conducted to measure the reliability and validity, the results of such a pilot study should have been mentioned.

Authors have mentioned that “Manual tools such as weighing machine and measuring tape were used for the anthropometric measurement” but what evaluation criteria were used by investigators to conclude that the prevalence of stunting was 40% and wasting was 19.5% among under-five children? How did the authors conclude about the malnutrition status of the under-five children, and if any self-prepared tool was used, it should have been mentioned? It would have been prudent to have used a standardized tool, for example, the WHO guidelines of anthropometry.[5]

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Devi P, Kaur S. An exploratory study to assess the prevalence and risk factors of malnutrition among under-five children residing in selected rural areas of district Sirmaur Himachal Pradesh. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2019;4:7-10.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Carvalho V. Cuidando, pesquisando e ensinando: Caring, researching and teaching: about meanings and implications of nursing practice. Rev Latino-Am Enfermagem 2004;12:806-15  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Pourhoseingholi MA, Vahedi M, Rahimzadeh M. Sample size calculation in medical studies. Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench 2013;6:14-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Black K. Business Statistics: Contemporary Decision Making. 6th ed. USA: John Wiley&Sons; 2010.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
WHO Child Growth Standards. Available from: https://www.who.int/growthref/en/. [Last assessed on 2019 Nov 14].  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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