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SAMPLE DESIGN: HOW MANY WILL BE IN THE SAMPLE— DESCRIPTIVE STUDIES ?. Lu Ann Aday, Ph.D. The University of Texas School of Public Health. DESCRIPTIVE Describes Is more exploratory Profiles characteristics of group(s) Focuses on what ? Assumes no hypothesis

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sample design how many will be in the sample descriptive studies

SAMPLE DESIGN: HOW MANY WILL BE IN THE SAMPLE—DESCRIPTIVE STUDIES ?

Lu Ann Aday, Ph.D.The University of Texas

School of Public Health

types of objectives
DESCRIPTIVE

Describes

Is more exploratory

Profiles characteristics of group(s)

Focuses on what?

Assumes no hypothesis

Does not require comparisons (between groups or over time)

Try to maximize precision of estimates

ANALYTICAL

Explains

Is more explanatory

Analyzes why group(s) have characteristics

Focuses on why?

Assumes an hypothesis

Requires comparisons (between groups or over time)

Try to maximize power to detect differences, if they exist

TYPES OF OBJECTIVES
relating sample size estimation to study objectives
RELATING SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION TO STUDY OBJECTIVES
  • Select the sample size estimation procedure that best matches the study design underlying the respective study objectives
  • Compute the sample size required to address each objective
  • Based on the sample sizes required to address each of the objectives, appropriate sample size adjustments, as well as time and resource constraints, recommend an overall sample size
  • Discuss possible limitations in terms of statistical precision or power in addressing any specific study objective(s), given the recommended sample size
criteria descriptive studies
CRITERIA: Descriptive Studies
  • Objective:
    • to estimate a parameter, i.e., provide a precise estimate for selected variable(s)
  • Framework:
    • normal sampling distribution
normal sampling distribution
NORMAL SAMPLING DISTRIBUTION
  • Sampling Distribution:distribution of estimates, e.g., mean, for all possible simple random samples of a certain size that could be hypothetically drawn from the target population
  • Population Mean:grand meanof all possible simple random samples of a certain size that could be hypothetically drawn from the target population
standard error
STANDARD ERROR
  • Definition:average variationof all possible simple random samples of a certain size that could be hypothetically drawn from the target population
  • Formula:
    • SE = s/n, where,

SE = standard error s = sample standard deviation n = sample size

 = square root (sqrt)

confidence interval
CONFIDENCE INTERVAL
  • Definition:range of values in which the population mean is likely to be contained, with a given level of probability, defined by the standard errors of the sampling distribution
  • Confidence IntervalStandard Errors (Z)

68 % 1.00

90 % 1.645

95 % 1.96

99 % 2.58

example mean estimate
EXAMPLE: Mean Estimate
  • Population Mean: 5 visits
  • Standard Error: .50 visits
  • Confidence Interval:

68 % = 1.00 * .50 = +/- .50 visits

90 % = 1.645 * .50 = +/- .82 visits

95 % = 1.96 * .50 = +/- .98 visits

99 % = 2.58 * .50 = +/- 1.29 visits

example proportion estimate
EXAMPLE: Proportion Estimate
  • Population Proportion: .50, i.e., 50%
  • Standard Error: .025, i.e., 2.5%
  • Confidence Interval:

68 % = 1.00 * 2.5 = +/- 2.5%

90 % = 1.645 * 2.5 = +/- 4.1%

95 % = 1.96 * 2.5 = +/- 4.9%

99 % = 2.58 * 2.5 = +/- 6.4%

sample size estimation cross sectional one group proportion
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: Cross-Sectional (One Group)—Proportion
  • Formula:

n = Z21-α/2 P(1-P)/d2,where,

n = sample size

Z21-α/2 = confidence interval

P = estimated proportion

d = desired precision

sample size estimation cross sectional one group proportion12
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: Cross-Sectional (One Group)—Proportion
  • Example:

n = Z21-α/2 P (1-P)/d2

n = 1.962 * .50(1-.50)/.052

n = 384

Note: See Table 7.1B, Aday & Cornelius, 2006, for sample size estimates based on different estimated proportions (P) and levels of desired precision (d).

sample size estimation cross sectional one group mean
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: Cross-Sectional (One Group)—Mean
  • Formula:

n = Z21-α/2 σ2/d2,where,

n = sample size

Z21-α/2 = confidence interval

σ = estimated standard deviation

d = desired precision

sample size estimation cross sectional one group mean14
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: Cross-Sectional (One Group)—Mean
  • Example:

n = Z21-α/2σ2/d2

n = 1.962 * (2.5 2)/1 2

n = 24

Note: To estimateσ when not known, estimate the inter-quartile range by dividing the possible range of values by 4, e.g., if range is 0-10, then 10/4 = 2.5.

sample size estimation group comparison two groups proportion
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: Group-Comparison (Two Groups)—Proportion
  • Formula:

n = Z21-α/2[P1(1-P1) + P2(1-P2)]/d2, where,

n = sample size

Z21-α/2 = confidence interval

P1 = estimated proportion (larger)

P2 = estimated proportion (smaller)

d = desired precision

sample size estimation group comparison two groups proportion16
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: Group-Comparison (Two Groups)—Proportion
  • Example:

n =Z21-α/2 [P1(1-P1) + P2(1-P2)]/d2

n = 1.962 [(.70)(.30) + (.50)(.50)]/.052

n = 707 (in each group)

sample size estimation group comparison two groups mean
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: Group Comparison (Two Groups)—Mean
  • Formula:

n = Z21-α/2 [2σ2]/d2,where,

n = sample size Z21-α/2 = confidence interval σ = estimated standard deviation

d = desired precision

sample size estimation group comparison two groups mean18
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: Group Comparison (Two Groups)—Mean
  • Example:

n = Z21-α/2 [2σ2]/d2

n = 1.962 * [2 * (2.5 2)]/1 2

n = 48 (in each group)

Note: To estimateσ when not known, estimate the inter-quartile range by dividing the possible range of values by 4, e.g., if range is 0-10, then 10/4 = 2.5.

summary steps in estimating sample size descriptive studies
SUMMARY: Steps in Estimating Sample Size – Descriptive Studies
  • 1. Identify the major study variables.
  • 2. Determine the types of estimates of study variables, such as means or proportions.
  • 3. Select the population or subgroups of interest (based on study objectives and design).
  • 4a. Indicate what you expect the population value to be.
  • 4b. Estimate the standard deviation of the estimate.
summary steps in estimating sample size descriptive studies20
SUMMARY: Steps in Estimating Sample Size – Descriptive Studies
  • 5. Decide on a desired level of confidence in the estimate (confidence interval).
  • 6. Decide on a tolerable range of error in the estimate (desired precision).
  • 7. Compute sample size, based on study assumptions.
sample size estimation excel spreadsheet
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION: EXCEL SPREADSHEET
  • See EXCEL file with spreadsheet for computing sample sizes.