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Indian Dermatol Online J. 2017 Jul-Aug; 8(4): 296.
PMCID: PMC5518593

Reply to: Detailed Limitations of Study Help Readers to Interpret Results Effectively


We would like to thank the authors for their interest and the incisive comments on our article.[1] In response, we would like to mention the following points:

  1. We did include only valid responses from respondents who had acne. We thought this would be self-evident, but we agree that we could be more clear on this
  2. “The response rate could not be ascertained exactly as the electronic survey might have reached a much larger sample of students.” What we meant was that, because the survey was also posted electronically on online portals such as student discussion forum, it could have reached a much larger sample than what was targeted based on the calculated sample size
    The above clarification should hopefully address the points 1 and 2 raised by the author
  3. For the Cronbach's alpha, what we indeed meant was reliability (internal consistency), it was inadvertently written as validity and we agree completely that the value of 0.405 indicates a low measure of internal consistency. This could partly be because, as mentioned, the questionnaire was addressing multiple factors, which were not necessarily homogenous. We again agree with the author that we could have mentioned the implications of a low Cronbach's alpha for the less aware reader
  4. We are entirely for explicitly mentioning limitations in scientific studies. We did mention some of the general limitations, but we admit that we did not specifically mention the limitations related to the methodology – partly because of the fact that some of these would be obvious (such as the low Cronbach's alpha), and partly, as the author mentions, because of the need for brevity, but we completely agree that other points such as the absence of pretesting could be stated explicitly.

Once again we thank the author for the valuable critique of our work.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1. Alshehri MD, Almutairi AT, Alomran AM, Alrashed BA, Kaliyadan F. Over-the-counter and prescription medications for acne: A cross-sectional survey in a sample of university students in Saudi Arabia. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2017;8:120–3. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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