clinical importance

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Statistical Significance as described by Wasserstein & Lazar (2016) is the “P” value of less than .05, which Pstands for probability. The probability of the research that was not due to chance and that something significant has occurred. The value of the “P” in the study denotes that the true difference between the control and experimental compared groups is as big or if not bigger than reported in the study. The “p” value depends on three factors such as the degree of the effect or the performance difference between the selected group; the number of participants; and the data distribution which commonly measured as variance and standard deviation (Pintea, 2010).

Clinical significance of results or clinical importance is used to assess and evaluate the effects ofinterventions or outcomes that may be relevant to the target subject. To assess clinical significance, it isimportant to perform a systematic and complete evaluation between the advantagesand disadvantages effects of the study (Guyatt, 2013). It is the difference between the two therapyresults that are proven to justify, modify or change the standard of care.

In my opinion, there is a possibility that research study results can support the acceptance of the nullhypothesis and develop clinical significance. An example that I came across was the study conducted byLockyer, Hodgson, Dumville, and Cullum (2013) on wound care. The study reported that 74% (32/43) of thereviewed articles have no clear and solid primary outcome and included a finding that was not significant forthe study. This can happen if the selected sample of the research was too small and missed in describing orestablishing the relationship and difference between the groups being studied. It can also happen if thestatistical test was weak, and the measure utilized during the research was defective or unreliable. Andlastly, if the method that was applied to develop an intervention missed identifying the significant variables orideas of the study (Polit & Beck, 2014).

I believe that questioning the credibility of the result from a qualitative study may contribute to clinicalsignificance in my practice area. Credibility refers to facts and certainty of data collected and theresearcher’s interpretation and understanding of results (Polit and Beck, 2014). Qualitative research is focused on exploring ones’ experiences, establishing trust and rapport and describing a comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon. The researcher in a qualitative study must demonstrate engagement withthe participants/informants to validate if the data and conclusion were accurately interpreted.

An example is a qualitative inquiry of patients diagnosed with breast cancer (Pederson,2013). Thequalitative study in the discovery of emotions, experiences, and challenges of cancer patients throughout thedisease process helps to recognize the needed support and care from the health care providers (Cope,2014). Measuring outcomes is important in any research. Data collected must be accurately analyzed andinterpreted. Defining if the outcome is effective and significant comprises of accurate and concisejudgments. As future leaders, we must recognize the credibility of the study and the need for furtherresearch before the application of any new intervention or information into practice.


Cope, D. G. (2014). Methods and Meanings: Credibility and Trustworthiness of Qualitative Research. Oncology Nursing Forum, 41(1), 89–91. Retrieved from

Guyatt, G., Oxman, AD., Sultan, S., Brozek, J., Glasziou, P., Alonso-Coello, P., Atkins. D., Kunz, R., Montori, V., Jaeschke, R., Rind, D., Dahm, P., Akl, EA., Meerpohl, J., Vist, G., Berliner, E., Norris, S., Falck-Ytter, .Y., &Schunemann, HJ.( 2013). Making an overall rating of confidence in effect estimates for a single outcome and for all outcomes. J Clin Epidemiol, 66(2):151–157.

Lockyer, S., Hodgson, R., Dumville, J.C., & Cullum, N. (2013). “Spin” in wound care research: The reporting and interpretation of randomized controlled trials with statistically nonsignificant primary outcomes results or unspecified primary outcomes. Trails, 14(1), 371

Pintea, S. (2010). The Relevance of Results in Clinical Research: Statistical, Practical, and Clinical Significance. Journal of Cognitive & Behavioral Psychotherapies, 10(1), 101–114. Retrieved from

Pederson, A.E., Hack, T.F., McClemont, S.E., & Taylor-Brown, J. (2013). An exploration of the patient navigator role: Perspectives of younger women with breast cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 41, 77–88. doi: 10.1188/14.ONF.77-88

Polit, D.F., & Beck, C.T. (2014). Essentials of nursing research: Appraising evidence for nursing practice (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Wasserstein, RL., & Lazar, NA. (2016). The ASA’s statement on p-values: context, process, and purpose. Am Stat.,70:129-133. Retrieved from 05.2016.1154108