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Rev Alerg Mex. 2016 Apr-Jun;63(2):201-6.

[The research protocol III. Study population].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Casa Cuna Tlalpan, Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), Ciudad de México, México.


in English, Spanish

The study population is defined as a set of cases, determined, limited, and accessible, that will constitute the subjects for the selection of the sample, and must fulfill several characteristics and distinct criteria. The objectives of this manuscript are focused on specifying each one of the elements required to make the selection of the participants of a research project, during the elaboration of the protocol, including the concepts of study population, sample, selection criteria and sampling methods. After delineating the study population, the researcher must specify the criteria that each participant has to comply. The criteria that include the specific characteristics are denominated selection or eligibility criteria. These criteria are inclusion, exclusion and elimination, and will delineate the eligible population. The sampling methods are divided in two large groups: 1) probabilistic or random sampling and 2) non-probabilistic sampling. The difference lies in the employment of statistical methods to select the subjects. In every research, it is necessary to establish at the beginning the specific number of participants to be included to achieve the objectives of the study. This number is the sample size, and can be calculated or estimated with mathematical formulas and statistic software.


sample size; sampling; selection criteria; study population

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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