Sample size in orthodontic randomized controlled trials: are numbers justified?

Koletsi, Despina; Pandis, Nikolaos; Fleming, Padhraig S (2014). Sample size in orthodontic randomized controlled trials: are numbers justified? European journal of orthodontics, 36(1), pp. 67-73. Oxford University Press 10.1093/ejo/cjt005

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Sample size calculations are advocated by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) group to justify sample sizes in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This study aimed to analyse the reporting of sample size calculations in trials published as RCTs in orthodontic speciality journals. The performance of sample size calculations was assessed and calculations verified where possible. Related aspects, including number of authors; parallel, split-mouth, or other design; single- or multi-centre study; region of publication; type of data analysis (intention-to-treat or per-protocol basis); and number of participants recruited and lost to follow-up, were considered. Of 139 RCTs identified, complete sample size calculations were reported in 41 studies (29.5 per cent). Parallel designs were typically adopted (n = 113; 81 per cent), with 80 per cent (n = 111) involving two arms and 16 per cent having three arms. Data analysis was conducted on an intention-to-treat (ITT) basis in a small minority of studies (n = 18; 13 per cent). According to the calculations presented, overall, a median of 46 participants were required to demonstrate sufficient power to highlight meaningful differences (typically at a power of 80 per cent). The median number of participants recruited was 60, with a median of 4 participants being lost to follow-up. Our finding indicates good agreement between projected numbers required and those verified (median discrepancy: 5.3 per cent), although only a minority of trials (29.5 per cent) could be examined. Although sample size calculations are often reported in trials published as RCTs in orthodontic speciality journals, presentation is suboptimal and in need of significant improvement.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Orthodontics

UniBE Contributor:

Pandis, Nikolaos

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0141-5387

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

02 Dec 2014 10:24

Last Modified:

27 Apr 2018 09:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/ejo/cjt005

PubMed ID:

23460731

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.60625

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/60625

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