2.1. Study Design and Participants
This protocol is extracted from research article:
The Moderating Role of Caregiving on Fear of COVID-19 and Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms
Int J Environ Res Public Health, Jun 6, 2021; DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18116125

This cross-sectional study was approved by the Committee of Research and Ethics of the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (reference number: DPS.JCC.01.20).

Sampsize program [54] was used to calculate the minimum sample size. In Spain, prevalence of informal caregiving is estimated at 16% [55]. Based on this rate, the minimum sample size required for this study was 207 (with a 5% margin of error and 95% confidence level). Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) age ≥ 18, (2) living in Spain during COVID-19 crisis, and (3) signing informed consent before participating in the study.

Potential participants were recruited between November 2020 to January 2021 using a multi-modal strategy. First, a survey was distributed via social media platforms. To minimize the bias of nonprobability sampling, 10 initial participants (‘seeds’) were selected to initiate the survey link distribution. Seeds were selected based on gender, age category, geographical location, and occupational status. Then, survey was distributed via the mailing lists of the Miguel Hernández University. Participants were invited to participate in the study using the following statement: “Researchers of the Miguel Hernández University want to know how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting you. For this reason we are developing a tool for preventing emotional problems during the pandemic. Tracking your mood during these days can help us improve the accuracy of the tool that will be used by healthcare professionals. Would you like to collaborate in our study? Please followed this link to our website for more details”. All participants were directed to an external survey website (preventept.com (accessed on 1 January 2021)), which host information about the aim of the study, the Participant Information Statement text and a link to the online questionnaire. Chatbot technology of the SurveySparrow platform was used to display survey questions in a conversational manner, which has been pointed out as a cost-effective assessment method [56,57]. These recruitment strategies yielded a total sample of 503 individuals from the Spanish general population.

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