Friday, November 3, 2023

Assessing Research Findings: Moving Beyond Statistical Significance

 Traditionally, p-values have been used to determine the statistical significance of research findings. However, statistical significance does not always equate to clinical relevance. The fragility index provides additional insight into robustness but still hinges on p-values. In contrast, the relative risk index focuses on divergence from therapeutic equivalence, independent of statistical significance. A recent simulation analysis found the relative risk index correlates only weakly with p-values, suggesting it conveys distinct information. The relative risk index may better capture clinical relevance. Rather than relying solely on p-values and fragility indices, the relative risk index deserves consideration as a complementary metric when evaluating research findings to guide evidence-based practice.

Citation: Heston TF. Statistical significance versus clinical relevance: a head-to-head comparison of the fragility index and relative risk index. Cureus. 2023;15(10):e47741. DOI:10.7759/cureus.47741.