Assessing the precision of a time-sampling-based study among GPs: Balancing sample size and measurement frequency
SourceHuman Resources for Health, 15, (2017), article 81
Article / Letter to editor
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Human Resources for Health
SubjectInequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
Our research is based on a technique for time sampling, an innovative method for measuring the working hours of Dutch general practitioners (GPs), which was deployed in an earlier study. In this study, 1051 GPs were questioned about their activities in real time by sending them one SMS text message every 3 h during 1 week. The required sample size for this study is important for health workforce planners to know if they want to apply this method to target groups who are hard to reach or if fewer resources are available. In this time-sampling method, however, standard power analyses is not sufficient for calculating the required sample size as this accounts only for sample fluctuation and not for the fluctuation of measurements taken from every participant. We investigated the impact of the number of participants and frequency of measurements per participant upon the confidence intervals (CIs) for the hours worked per week.
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