p-values explained

January 25, 2016

Two columns I wrote to explain p-values to clinicians have been posted as open access. They went through many drafts being tested on non-statisticians until they seem to explain the issue adequately. Read them in order:

Diagnostic Questionnaires

The goal of this column is to help working clinicians understand the statistical calculations involved in interpreting the results of diagnostic questionnaires. Using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 as an example, the author explains how to determine the most appropriate cutoffs to choose, depending on the population involved, the probabilities of error (α\alpha and β\beta), and the expected losses associated with each kind of error in the context in which the test is being administered. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 2011;17:57–60).

Hypothesis tests and p-values

The goal of this column is to help working clinicians understand p-values and the machinery of hypothesis testing underlying them, using a fictional study of an anti-insomnia drug. The author discusses what p-values really mean and common misconceptions concerning them. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2011;17:288–291)


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Into the Sciences Monologue: A Comedy of Telepathy