Journal article

The value of RCT evidence depends on the quality of statistical analysis

Cathy Faulkner, Fiona Fidler, Geoff Cumming

BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH AND THERAPY | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2008

Abstract

The authors examined statistical practices in 193 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of psychological therapies published in prominent psychology and psychiatry journals during 1999-2003. Statistical significance tests were used in 99% of RCTs, 84% discussed clinical significance, but only 46% considered-even minimally-statistical power, 31% interpreted effect size and only 2% interpreted confidence intervals. In a second study, 42 respondents to an email survey of the authors of RCTs analyzed in the first study indicated they consider it very important to know the magnitude and clinical importance of the effect, in addition to whether a treatment effect exists. The present authors conclude..

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University of Melbourne Researchers