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Sample size: Confidence Interval for a Coefficient of variation from duplicate measurements

Command:Sample size
Next selectConfidence Interval estimation & Precision
Next selectCoefficient of variation from duplicate measurements


Calculates the required minimum sample size for the estimation of a confidence interval with a required width for the Coefficient of variation from duplicate measurements. The calculations are performed according to the general methodology given by Machin et al., 2009. It is assumed that the calculation of the Coefficient of variation uses the Logarithmic method.

Note that the calculation does not include a null hypothesis value or a factor for power (1−β). Therefore the estimated sample size does not give a certainty that a particular value will fall inside or outside the confidence interval. The number of cases is only the number required to attain a specified confidence interval width.

Required input


A preliminary study in 20 sample pairs resulted in a coefficient of variation of 8% with 95% CI of 2.3 to 13.7%. The calculations used the logarithmic method.

The desired 95% confidence interval is 6 to 10%. How many sample pairs are needed for this narrower confidence interval?

For confidence level you enter 95, for coefficient of variation 8 and for confidence interval width you enter 4 (=10−6).

Sample size for the confidence interval of a coefficient of variation from duplicate measurements

Click Calculate

The program gives a minimum required sample size of 37. This means that if the study is repeated with 37 sample pairs, and this new study again results in a coefficient of variation of 8%, the 95% confidence interval will be 6 to 10%.


See also

Recommended book

Book cover

Sample Size Tables for Clinical Studies
David Machin, Michael J. Campbell, Say-Beng Tan, Sze-Huey Tan

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Sample Sizes for Clinical, Laboratory and Epidemiology Studies includes the sample size software (SSS) and formulae and numerical tables needed to design valid clinical studies. The text covers clinical as well as laboratory and epidemiology studies and contains the information needed to ensure a study will form a valid contribution to medical research. The authors, noted experts in the field, explain step by step and explore the wide range of considerations necessary to assist investigational teams when deriving an appropriate sample size for their when planned study. The book contains sets of sample size tables with companion explanations and clear worked out examples based on real data. In addition, the text offers bibliography and references sections that are designed to be helpful with guidance on the principles discussed.