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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 142-147

Sample size estimation and sampling techniques for selecting a representative sample


Department of Medical Education, Research Unit, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Aamir Omair
Department of Medical Education, Research Unit, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-600X.142783

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Introduction: The purpose of this article is to provide a general understanding of the concepts of sampling as applied to health-related research. Sample Size Estimation: It is important to select a representative sample in quantitative research in order to be able to generalize the results to the target population. The sample should be of the required sample size and must be selected using an appropriate probability sampling technique. There are many hidden biases which can adversely affect the outcome of the study. Important factors to consider for estimating the sample size include the size of the study population, confidence level, expected proportion of the outcome variable (for categorical variables)/standard deviation of the outcome variable (for numerical variables), and the required precision (margin of accuracy) from the study. The more the precision required, the greater is the required sample size. Sampling Techniques: The probability sampling techniques applied for health related research include simple random sampling, systematic random sampling, stratified random sampling, cluster sampling, and multistage sampling. These are more recommended than the nonprobability sampling techniques, because the results of the study can be generalized to the target population.


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