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Crit Care Resusc. 2018 Jun;20(2):117-123.

Sample size calculations for cluster randomised crossover trials in Australian and New Zealand intensive care research.

Author information

1
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. andrew.forbes@monash.edu.
2
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
3
Centre for Outcome and Resource Evaluation, Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
4
Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The cluster randomised crossover (CRXO) design provides an opportunity to conduct randomised controlled trials to evaluate low risk interventions in the intensive care setting. Our aim is to provide a tutorial on how to perform a sample size calculation for a CRXO trial, focusing on the meaning of the elements required for the calculations, with application to intensive care trials.

DATA SOURCES:

We use all-cause in-hospital mortality from the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Adult Patient Database clinical registry to illustrate the sample size calculations.

METHODS:

We show sample size calculations for a two-intervention, two 12-month period, cross-sectional CRXO trial. We provide the formulae, and examples of their use, to determine the number of intensive care units required to detect a risk ratio (RR) with a designated level of power between two interventions for trials in which the elements required for sample size calculations remain constant across all ICUs (unstratified design); and in which there are distinct groups (strata) of ICUs that differ importantly in the elements required for sample size calculations (stratified design).

RESULTS:

The CRXO design markedly reduces the sample size requirement compared with the parallel-group, cluster randomised design for the example cases. The stratified design further reduces the sample size requirement compared with the unstratified design.

CONCLUSIONS:

The CRXO design enables the evaluation of routinely used interventions that can bring about small, but important, improvements in patient care in the intensive care setting.

PMID:
29852850
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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