Understanding Statistical Power in Cluster Randomized Trials: Challenges Posed by Differences in Notation and Terminology

Jessaca Spybrook*, Larry Hedges, Michael Borenstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract: Research designs in which clusters are the unit of randomization are quite common in the social sciences. Given the multilevel nature of these studies, the power analyses for these studies are more complex than in a simple individually randomized trial. Tools are now available to help researchers conduct power analyses for cluster randomized trials. A key challenge facing researchers in using the tools is that different tools use different language, notation, and design parameters. This makes it difficult for researchers to communicate about the steps for a power analysis or to evaluate the appropriateness of a power analysis. This article provides explicit connections between the language, notation, and design parameters of two widely used approaches and tools for conducting power analyses, Optimal Design Plus and CRT Power. The formulas for translating design parameters between the two programs are provided and the comparability of the two programs is illustrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-406
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Research on Educational Effectiveness
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2014

Keywords

  • Research design
  • cluster randomized trials
  • statistical power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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