Principles of Sample Size Calculation

1. Introduction

In a clinical trial, the objective is to obtain information about the effect of a treatment in a certain patient population who are likely to benefit from that treatment. However, the researchers cannot administer this treatment to the entire population. It would not be realistic for ethical, financial and often logistical reasons. Therefore, the clinical trial will be conducted only on a sample from the population of patients. This population sample should be representative of the whole population in order to allow the generalisations of the clinical trial findings.