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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 505-509

Methodology series module 5: Sampling strategies

Epidemiologist, MGM Institute of Health Sciences, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Maninder Singh Setia
MGM Institute of Health Sciences, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.190118

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Once the research question and the research design have been finalised, it is important to select the appropriate sample for the study. The method by which the researcher selects the sample is the 'Sampling Method'. There are essentially two types of sampling methods: 1) probability sampling – based on chance events (such as random numbers, flipping a coin etc.); and 2) non-probability sampling – based on researcher's choice, population that accessible & available. Some of the non-probability sampling methods are: purposive sampling, convenience sampling, or quota sampling. Random sampling method (such as simple random sample or stratified random sample) is a form of probability sampling. It is important to understand the different sampling methods used in clinical studies and mention this method clearly in the manuscript. The researcher should not misrepresent the sampling method in the manuscript (such as using the term 'random sample' when the researcher has used convenience sample). The sampling method will depend on the research question. For instance, the researcher may want to understand an issue in greater detail for one particular population rather than worry about the 'generalizability' of these results. In such a scenario, the researcher may want to use 'purposive sampling' for the study.

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