Test statistics and sample size formulae for comparative binomial trials with null hypothesis of non-zero risk difference or non-unity relative risk

Stat Med. 1990 Dec;9(12):1447-54. doi: 10.1002/sim.4780091208.


When it is required to establish a materially significant difference between two treatments, or, alternatively, to show that two treatments are equivalent, standard test statistics and sample size formulae based on a null hypothesis of no difference no longer apply. This paper reviews some of the test statistics and sample size formulae proposed for comparative binomial trials when the null hypothesis is of a specified non-zero difference or non-unity relative risk. Methods based on restricted maximum likelihood estimation are recommended and applied to studies of pertussis vaccine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance*
  • Binomial Distribution
  • Cohort Studies*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Humans
  • Risk