Statistical primer: sample size and power calculations — why, when and how?


When designing a clinical study, a fundamental aspect is the sample size. In this article, we describe the rationale for sample size calculations, when it should be calculated and describe the components necessary to calculate it. For simple studies, standard formulae can be used; however, for more advanced studies, it is generally necessary to use specialized statistical software programs and consult a biostatistician. Sample size calculations for non-randomized studies are also discussed and two clinical examples are used for illustration.

European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery