Journal article

Statistical inference is overemphasized in cluster investigations: the case of the cluster of breast cancers at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation studios in Brisbane, Australia

M Coory

INTERNAL MEDICINE JOURNAL | WILEY | Published : 2008

Abstract

The aim of statistical analyses in cluster investigations is to estimate the probability that the aggregation of cases could be due to chance. As a result of several statistical problems - including the post-hoc nature of the analysis and the subjective nature of implied multiple comparisons - this cannot be carried out with any certainty. In cluster investigations, expert opinion should carry much more weight than P-values, which are exceedingly difficult to interpret.