Methods for specifying the target difference in a randomised controlled trial: the Difference ELicitation in TriAls (DELTA) systematic review

Jenni Hislop, Temitope E Adewuyi, Luke D Vale, Kirsten Harrild, Cynthia Fraser, Tara Gurung, Douglas G Altman, Andrew H Briggs, Peter Fayers, Craig R Ramsay, John D Norrie, Ian M Harvey, Brian Buckley, Jonathan A Cook, DELTA group

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Abstract

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are widely accepted as the preferred study design for evaluating healthcare interventions. When the sample size is determined, a (target) difference is typically specified that the RCT is designed to detect. This provides reassurance that the study will be informative, i.e., should such a difference exist, it is likely to be detected with the required statistical precision. The aim of this review was to identify potential methods for specifying the target difference in an RCT sample size calculation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1001645
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS Medicine
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2014

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Hislop, J., Adewuyi, T. E., Vale, L. D., Harrild, K., Fraser, C., Gurung, T., Altman, D. G., Briggs, A. H., Fayers, P., Ramsay, C. R., Norrie, J. D., Harvey, I. M., Buckley, B., Cook, J. A., & DELTA group (2014). Methods for specifying the target difference in a randomised controlled trial: the Difference ELicitation in TriAls (DELTA) systematic review. PLoS Medicine, 11(5), [e1001645]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001645