The rogue result

Even the well-conducted generalizable trial can produce a rogue result. Currently the acceptable level of chance is one in 20. A statistically significant result, often denoted as p < 0.05, suggests that the finding, if the experiment was to be replicated, should occur 19 out of 20 times. However, a different result will appear once in 20 times simply because of chance. This can lead to an interesting paradox. A single trial may not provide the best evidence of how to manage people, even in the locality that the study was undertaken. The play of chance may result in an erroneous result and unless that trial is viewed in the company of all relevant evidence clinicians will be misled.

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