TitleA Bayesian approach to sample size determination for studies designed to evaluate continuous medical tests
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsCheng, D, Branscum, AJ, Stamey, JD
JournalComputational Statistics & Data Analysis
Pagination298 - 307
Date Published2/2010

We develop aBayesianapproach to samplesize and power calculations for cross-sectional studies that are designed to evaluate and compare continuousmedicaltests. For studies that involve one test or two conditionally independent or dependent tests, we present methods that are applicable when the true disease status of sampled individuals will be available and when it will not. Within a hypothesis testing framework, we consider the goal of demonstrating that amedicaltest has area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve that exceeds a minimum acceptable level or another relevant threshold, and the goals of establishing the superiority or equivalence of one test relative to another. ABayesian average power criterion is used to determine asamplesize that will yield high posterior probability, on average, of a future study correctly deciding in favor of these goals. The impacts on Bayesian average power of prior distributions, the proportion of diseased subjects in the study, and correlation among tests are investigated through simulation. The computational algorithm we develop involves simulating multiple data sets that are fit with Bayesian models using Gibbs sampling, and is executed by using WinBUGS in tandem with R.