2 Sep 2016

Perspective: Interpreting trial results - the P value continuum

xkcd: P-values
A recently published NEJM review article by Stuart Pocock and Gregg Stone reflects on how to interpret the primary outcome of a trial. Quote excerpted below:

"A well-designed trial derives its credibility from the inclusion of a prespecified, a priori hypothesis that helps its authors avoid making potentially false positive claims on the basis of an exploratory analysis of the data. Nevertheless, an unreasonable yet widespread practice is the labeling of all randomized trials as either positive or negative on the basis of whether the P value for the primary outcome is less than 0.05. This view is overly simplistic. P values should be interpreted as a continuum wherein the smaller the P value, the greater the strength of the evidence for a real treatment effect."

Reference: www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1510064
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