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October 29, 2010


There seems to be some confusion about the meaning of the p-value. It can be taken to mean the significance or otherwise of the treatment effect. However, the p-value only indicates the probability of observing the sample estimate (e.g. the mean) from your data, against the null hypothesis (i.e. zero difference), to the alternative hypothesis (i.e. more than zero difference). More important is whether the treatment effect is clinically significant, and this can be better judged by paying attention to the sample estimate and 95% confidence interval associated with it.

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