Leonard E. Brahman, PhD
Investigators sometimes base their claim of superiority for a new treatment over older treatments on statistical significance (P values) without stressing whether there is a real clinical advantage. Not all statistically significant differences are clinically significant (1-3). Fortunately, confidence intervals can address both clinical and statistical significance (1). Annals (4-6) and other journals (1, 7-11) recommend using confidence intervals in reporting the main results of studies. In this editorial, I use hypothetical examples to illustrate point estimates and confidence intervals of the difference between the percentages of patients responding to two treatments for a cancer. These examples show how confidence
Brahman LE. Confidence Intervals Assess Both Clinical Significance and Statistical Significance. Ann Intern Med. ;114:515–517. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-114-6-515
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(6):515-517.
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