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Gepubliceerd in: Quality of Life Research 1/2015

01-01-2015 | Brief Communication

Sample size for pre-tests of questionnaires

Auteurs: Thomas V. Perneger, Delphine S. Courvoisier, Patricia M. Hudelson, Angèle Gayet-Ageron

Gepubliceerd in: Quality of Life Research | Uitgave 1/2015

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Abstract

Purpose

To provide guidance regarding the desirable size of pre-tests of psychometric questionnaires, when the purpose of the pre-test is to detect misunderstandings, ambiguities, or other difficulties participants may encounter with instrument items (called «problems»).

Methods

We computed (a) the power to detect a problem for various levels of prevalence and various sample sizes, (b) the required sample size to detect problems for various levels of prevalence, and (c) upper confidence limits for problem prevalence in situations where no problems were detected.

Results

As expected, power increased with problem prevalence and with sample size. If problem prevalence was 0.05, a sample of 10 participants had only a power of 40 % to detect the problem, and a sample of 20 achieved a power of 64 %. To achieve a power of 80 %, 32 participants were necessary if the prevalence of the problem was 0.05, 16 participants if prevalence was 0.10, and 8 if prevalence was 0.20. If no problems were observed in a given sample, the upper limit of a two-sided 90 % confidence interval reached 0.26 for a sample size of 10, 0.14 for a sample size of 20, and 0.10 for a sample of 30 participants.

Conclusions

Small samples (5–15 participants) that are common in pre-tests of questionaires may fail to uncover even common problems. A default sample size of 30 participants is recommended.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Sample size for pre-tests of questionnaires
Auteurs
Thomas V. Perneger
Delphine S. Courvoisier
Patricia M. Hudelson
Angèle Gayet-Ageron
Publicatiedatum
01-01-2015
Uitgeverij
Springer International Publishing
Gepubliceerd in
Quality of Life Research / Uitgave 1/2015
Print ISSN: 0962-9343
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2649
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-014-0752-2

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