NR 505 Week 6: Statistical and Clinical Significance Discussion – The difference between statistically significant results and clinical significance is very interesting. Respond to the following topics for this Statistical And Clinical Significance NR 505 Week 6 Discussion.
- Distinguish between the statistical and clinical significance of results.
- Would it be possible to have research study results that supported the acceptance of the null hypothesis and demonstrate clinical significance? Provide a hypothetical example that supports your answer.
- If you question the credibility of the results from a qualitative study, would the information have clinical significance for your practice area? Why or why not? Provide a hypothetical example that supports your answer.
The statistical and clinical significance of research are both very important within the medical community, and both are only productive when they bring change or influence to the patient population. According to El-Masri (2016), a statistically significant result shows the observed effect is not likely due to chance. For example, the values assigned to rule out the null hypothesis are based on pre-determined criteria. Statistical significance allows the researcher to make determinations based on the study findings and data regarding the true value of this research on the patient population. Clinical significance measures the magnitude of the relationship between the independent and outcome variables (El-Masri, 2016). Clinical significance is measured by its value to the quality of life, patient outcomes, and cost. Healthcare professionals must be careful to ensure the study results are credible and can be transferred to impact a patient population positively.
In my opinion, I believe you can accept the null hypothesis and still demonstrate clinical significance. My understanding of clinical significance is the impact it brings to the patient population from the available research data, whether the results show productive or harmful change. “Was the treatment plan effective?” and “Does it have significance within the clinical practice?” are questions that help determine clinical significance. For example, a hypothetical research study on a group of clinically depressed patients utilizing cognitive behavior therapy as the independent variable showed no statistically significant difference between the control and independent group, then the null hypothesis is accepted. However, the clinical results of the data showed many participants responded well to cognitive behavior therapy and verbalized improved mood, outlook, and quality of life. The researcher could look at confidence intervals to determine if cognitive behavior therapy had clinical significance on the depressed patient population and could produce change within the clinical setting, such as improved quality care outcomes, patient satisfaction, or reduced hospital stays. Clinical significance refers to the real-life impact of research findings (El-Masri, 2016).
According to Connelly (2014), the clinical significance of a study must be determined by the clinician because they know the needs of their patient population and the practice setting in which they operate. In my opinion, if I questioned the credibility of the qualitative study, I could still potentially find clinical significance in my practice area. For example, a hypothetical study on veterans’ suicide risk post-deployment with in-depth interviews on a sample size of approximately 20 veterans to discuss their experience with reintegration into society and the effects on their mental health needs. The credibility of the data could be in question simply because the data saturation did not occur. However, as a clinician working in a rural setting with a large veteran population, I see how certain questions regarding post-deployment and mental health needs could improve the quality of life and possibly reduce the suicide risk within my patient population then I have discovered clinical significance while questioning the credibility of the study.
Connelly, L.M. (2014). Statistical and clinical significance. Medsurg Nursing: Official Journal of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, 23(2), 118-9.
El-Masri, M. M. (2016). Statistical versus clinical significance in nursing research. The Canadian Journal of Nursing Research = Revue Canadienne De Recherche en Sciences Infirmieres, 48(2), 31-32. doi:10.1177/0844562116677895