A challenge that many of us face working in the field of spinal cord injury (SCI) is getting a large sample size for our projects. This can especially be challenging for persons working on program evaluation activities, where the size of the sample may be determined by the number of people that the program can sustain. A special communication has just come out in the in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation about research designs for studies with small N’s. Given that conducting randomized controlled trials are not always feasible in a rehabilitation setting, it is important to be aware of available alternative methods that can supplement findings from traditional research designs and improve our ability to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments for individual patients.
Reference: Graham JE, Karmarkar AM, Ottenbacher KJ. Small sample research designs for evidence-based rehabilitation:issues and methods. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2012 (Advanced online publication)