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Title: Correction: Study protocol: Improving patient choice in treating Low back pain (IMPACT - LBP): A randomised controlled trial of a decision support package for use in physical therapy
Authors: Patel, S
Brown, S
Friede, T
Griffiths, F
Lord, J
Ngunjiri, A
Thistlethwaite, J
Tysall, C
Woolvine, M
Underwood, M
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 14: 158, (2013)
Abstract: After publication of this protocol a change in study design was needed [1]. Due to changes in the service configuration in the host physiotherapy department individual randomisation as originally planned could not be implemented. It was necessary to change to cluster randomisation with the unit of randomisation being the treating physiotherapist. Potential participants are given outpatient appointments by booking staff unaware of the physiotherapist’s randomisation. Trial recruitment is also done blind to physiotherapist allocation. In this manner we have ensured allocation concealment prior to participants joining the study. Cluster randomised trials need to inflate their sample size to account for clustering. Typically primary care trials use an intra-cluster correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.05 in this calculation [2]. Our past experience is that clustering effects by therapist in trials of this nature may be very small [3]. To account for this we developed a provisional revised sample size using an ICC of 0.05 and did an interim analysis of pooled data, just for ICC of the primary outcome, after the first 40 participants had completed the three month follow-up questionnaire. The ICC was close to zero, suggesting that using an ICC of 0.05 was too conservative. We therefore assumed an ICC of 0.01 to estimate the design effect due to clustering. Based on an average cluster size of nine this results in a revised final sample size of 158.
Description: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
ISSN: 1471-2474
Appears in Collections:Health Economics Research Group (HERG)

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