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Feasibility and pilot studies 

Feasibility and pilot studies
Feasibility and pilot studies

Alan J. Silman

, Gary J. Macfarlane

, and Tatiana Macfarlane

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date: 21 May 2022

Designing a study ‘on paper’ is no guarantee it will work; for example, individuals agree to be recruited or the method of data acquisition is acceptable and provides the data in the format and quality required. For this reason it is, especially when planning large/expensive studies, to test the feasibility of the different components in separate small-scale studies. Alternatively, or in addition it may be useful to do a pilot study, which reproduces the planned methods for the proposed full study, to test ‘the whole system’. A successful pilot study enhances the likelihood of grant success; indeed, grant-awarding bodies will often expect to see evidence that they have been conducted.

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