Confidence levels can broaden the application of clinical research findings and promote evidence-based practice

James E. Graham, Timothy Reistetter, Trudy R. Mallinson, Kenneth Ottenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The traditional method of presenting quantitative research findings based on the statistical results of null hypothesis testing can limit the ability of clinicians and consumers to trans-late research findings into meaningful information for treatment planning and evaluation. In this article, the authors compare results from an illustrative study based on traditional statistical methods, including a t test and p values, to a more clinically useful approach using confidence levels. The process of calculating confidence levels using the basic quanti-tative information included in most clinical research articles is described. The argument is made that confidence levels do not replace traditional (null) hypothesis testing. Rather, they facilitate the interpretation of statistical findings, improve clinical decision making, and support the development of evidence-based occupational therapy practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalOTJR Occupation, Participation and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy

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