Journal Article

Appropriateness of reporting statistical results in orthodontics: the dominance of <i>P</i> values over confidence intervals

Argy Polychronopoulou, Nikolaos Pandis and Theodore Eliades

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 33, issue 1, pages 22-25
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/cjq025
Appropriateness of reporting statistical results in orthodontics: the dominance of P values over confidence intervals

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The purpose of this study was to search the orthodontic literature and determine the frequency of reporting of confidence intervals (CIs) in orthodontic journals with an impact factor. The six latest issues of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, the European Journal of Orthodontics, and the Angle Orthodontist were hand searched and the reporting of CIs, P values, and implementation of univariate or multivariate statistical analyses were recorded. Additionally, studies were classified according to the type/design as cross-sectional, case–control, cohort, and clinical trials, and according to the subject of the study as growth/genetics, behaviour/psychology, diagnosis/treatment, and biomaterials/biomechanics. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics followed by univariate examination of statistical associations, logistic regression, and multivariate modelling.

CI reporting was very limited and was recorded in only 6 per cent of the included published studies. CI reporting was independent of journal, study area, and design. Studies that used multivariate statistical analyses had a higher probability of reporting CIs compared with those using univariate statistical analyses. Misunderstanding of the use of P values and CIs may have important implications in implementation of research findings in clinical practice.

Journal Article.  2466 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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