Sample size determinations for group-based randomized clinical trials with different levels of data hierarchy between experimental and control arms

Moonseong Heo, Alain H. Litwin, Oni Blackstock, Namhee Kim, Julia H. Arnsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We derived sample size formulae for detecting main effects in group-based randomized clinical trials with different levels of data hierarchy between experimental and control arms. Such designs are necessary when experimental interventions need to be administered to groups of subjects whereas control conditions need to be administered to individual subjects. This type of trial, often referred to as a partially nested or partially clustered design, has been implemented for management of chronic diseases such as diabetes and is beginning to emerge more commonly in wider clinical settings. Depending on the research setting, the level of hierarchy of data structure for the experimental arm can be three or two, whereas that for the control arm is two or one. Such different levels of data hierarchy assume correlation structures of outcomes that are different between arms, regardless of whether research settings require two or three level data structure for the experimental arm. Therefore, the different correlations should be taken into account for statistical modeling and for sample size determinations. To this end, we considered mixed-effects linear models with different correlation structures between experimental and control arms to theoretically derive and empirically validate the sample size formulae with simulation studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-413
Number of pages15
JournalStatistical Methods in Medical Research
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • group-based intervention
  • mixed-effects model
  • multi-level data
  • sample size
  • varying sizes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Health Information Management

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