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Clinical and Statistical Significance Differences

It is hard to disagree that evidence-based practice (EBP) projects are of extreme importance for the development of nursing practices and medical interventions. These projects are implemented in a sequence of steps and address a clinical issue with immediate practice implications. However, not all evidence-based practice (EBP) projects lead to statistically significant results, and this is why it is vital to be still able to recognize their contributions. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to define clinical importance, explain the difference between clinical and statistical significance, and then talk about using the former to support positive outcomes in the project.

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To begin with, it is necessary to provide a definition of clinical significance. Overall, clinical relevance is the practical importance of noticeable, palpable, or real genuine effects of a treatment on a patient’s daily life (Armijo-Olivo, 2018). It also indicates whether the study results are meaningful and interesting enough for numerous stakeholders (Stratton, 2018). According to Armijo-Olivo (2018), “a clinically relevant intervention is the one whose effects are large enough to make the associated costs, inconveniences, and harms worthwhile” (p. 175). Additionally, as defined by Zbrog (n.d.), practical importance is “assigned to a result where a course of treatment has had genuine and quantifiable effects.” Therefore, this is an essential concept that may be useful, for example, in pharmaceutical or vaccine testing.

After providing the definition of clinical relevance, it is easier to explore the difference between this concept and statistical significance. As mentioned above, the former describes the actual effects of treatment. At the same time, statistical significance is about defining whether the event’s results are not caused by randomness or chance (Stratton, 2018). In other words, it is the measure of the probability of the null hypothesis, which is “the default assumption that there is no statistical significance: that nothing observed has changed, and/or there is no association or relationship between observed data sets” (Zbrog, n.d.). Statistical significance helps medics and scientists understand how strongly the results of their experiments or the possible outcomes of a newly introduced intervention should influence their decisions (Stratton, 2018). In the early stages of pharmaceutical testing, for instance, it may help determine whether further research is necessary (Zbrog, n.d.). Therefore, considering the importance of both clinical and statistical significance, the former is more vital and meaningful as “clinically significant results are reproducible to a much higher degree,” and they also exclude a modest margin of error (Zbrog, n.d.).

For the project to be successful, it is required that it has a clinical significance that supports its positive outcomes. First of all, it is necessary to mention the topic of the project, which is related to the interventions that can help congestive heart failure (CHF) patients avoid a CHF exacerbation while traveling. For instance, these interventions include wearing compression stockings when traveling on a plane, always having the medicines in a carry-on bag, exercising, and staying hydrated (American Heart Association, 2021). Therefore, for the project and its results to be valuable, it is necessary to make sure that the interventions explored in it are actually proven to be effective or ineffective. It is required to provide evidence and also mention the effects these interventions will have on congestive heart failure patients during their traveling. Finally, it will be helpful to list how the project’s outcomes meet the interests of stakeholders so that its benefits are easily recognized.

References

American Heart Association. (2021). Travel and heart disease. Heart.

Armijo-Olivo, S. (2018). The importance of determining the clinical significance of research results in physical therapy clinical research. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy, 22(3), 175-176.

Stratton, S. (2018). Significance: Statistical or clinical? Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 33(4), 347-348.

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Zbrog, M. (n.d.). Comparing clinical significance & statistical significance – similarities & differences. MHA Online.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 25). Clinical and Statistical Significance Differences. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/clinical-and-statistical-significance-differences/

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