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Postgraduate Education Corner: MEDICAL WRITING TIPS |

Documenting Research in Scientific Articles: Guidelines for Authors*: 2. Reporting Hypothesis Tests

Tom Lang, MA
Author and Funding Information

*From Tom Lang Communications and Training, Davis, CA.

Correspondence to: Tom Lang, MA, 1925 Donner Ave, No. 3, Davis, CA 95618; e-mail: tomlangcom@aol.com



Chest. 2007;131(1):317-319. doi:10.1378/chest.06-2087
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Proposed by Sir Ronald Fisher in 1920 as a measure of the strength of evidence, p values are part of an area of statistics called the frequentist approach to statistics. Also a part of the frequentist approach is a method of choosing between hypotheses, called hypothesis testing, which was developed by mathematicians Jerzy Neyman and Egon Pearson in the 1930s. Probability values and hypothesis testing are actually quite different concepts, but they are widely, if mistakenly, seen as parts of a coherent approach to statistical inference.1 In fact, the frequentist approach is widely used in biomedical research. Although the logic behind it is elegant, it is not intuitively obvious, which is why it is so often misunderstood. The guidelines here should help to make reports of hypothesis testing more complete. The guidelines here have been condensed from those presented in How To Report Statistics In Medicine.2

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