Sample Size Estimation


Statistical significance versus practical/clinical significance (or importance)



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Statistical significance versus practical/clinical significance (or importance):
Statistical significance means that a difference is “real” and not just due to sampling variability or chance. That is, the difference would persist if the study were repeated with new random samples.
Clinical significance addresses whether the difference is “important”; i.e. is the magnitude of the difference large enough to be useful clinically so as to warrant a change in operating procedure.
An effect can be statistically significant but not clinically significant. And if an effect is not statistically significant its clinical significance cannot be assessed. That is, statistical significance is a necessary precondition for clinical significance but says nothing about the actual magnitude of the effect.


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