Jan Lucas Hoving, PT, PhD; Bart W. Koes, PhD; Henrica C.W. de Vet, PhD
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Hoving JL, Koes BW, de Vet HC. Effects of Three Therapies for Neck Pain. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:685-686. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-138-8-200304150-00022
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(8):685-686.
The question at hand is the way in which one should interpret statistically nonsignificant results. Should one take the common point of view that without statistical significance there is no effect, or the more Bayesian view that combines new evidence of the magnitude and statistical significance of the effect with its prior probability (1)? In the latter case, the P value is less sacrosanct and the results of other outcome measures are taken into account. It is clear that we took the latter viewpoint in our paper. Although we agree with Drs. Kwan and Friel that our conclusion did not specifically refer to the size and potential uncertainty of the effect, we hold to our conclusion that manual therapy appears to be more effective than general practitioner care and probably than physiotherapy.
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