A modified approach to estimating sample size for simple logistic regression with one continuous covariate

I Novikov, N Fund, L S Freedman
Statistics in Medicine 2010 January 15, 29 (1): 97-107
Different methods for the calculation of sample size for simple logistic regression (LR) with one normally distributed continuous covariate give different results. Sometimes the difference can be large. Furthermore, some methods require the user to specify the prevalence of cases when the covariate equals its population mean, rather than the more natural population prevalence. We focus on two commonly used methods and show through simulations that the power for a given sample size may differ substantially from the nominal value for one method, especially when the covariate effect is large, while the other method performs poorly if the user provides the population prevalence instead of the required parameter. We propose a modification of the method of Hsieh et al. that requires specification of the population prevalence and that employs Schouten's sample size formula for a t-test with unequal variances and group sizes. This approach appears to increase the accuracy of the sample size estimates for LR with one continuous covariate.

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