Current Issue - 2006, Volume 1 Number 2 & 3

RESEARCH NOTES

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DOING A PILOT STUDY: WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL?

Box 1:  The importance of a pilot study

  • To determine the feasibility of the study protocol and identify weaknesses in a study.
  • To test whether the study instrument(s), is asking the intended questions, whether the format is comprehensible and whether the selected validated tool is appropriate for the target population.
  • To test the appropriateness of data collection using the selected interview technique (face-to-face or telephone) or self-completed questionnaire (postal or administered at the centre).
  • To test the data collection process – the time taken to complete questionnaire, and the subjects’ willingness to participate in the study.
  • To test data entry, coding of the items, and appropriateness of statistical tests
  • To obtain preliminary data for the primary outcome measure, in order to calculate a required sample size (especially in randomized control trials).


Flow Chart Pilot Study

Note: click to see enlarge version in separate window.


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