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Table 3 Relationship between statistical significance and clinical significance in superiority randomized controlled trials consisting of 71 randomized questions

From: Clinical significance in pediatric oncology randomized controlled treatment trials: a systematic review

Clinical significance Statistical significance Total
N = 71
No (n = 47) Yes (n = 24)
N % N % N %
Definite 0 0.0 2 8.3 2 2.8
Probable 0 0.0 7 29.2 7 9.9
Possible 12a 25.5 13 54.2 25 35.2
Definitely Not 35 74.5 2b 8.3 37 52.1
  1. aTwo randomized question included where the confidence interval of the treatment effect was based on an alpha of 0.05 although the sample size calculation stated an alpha of 0.10. This was due to insufficient information being reported which precluding calculating the 90% confidence interval
  2. bStatistically significant solely due to the direction of the effect being related to harm as opposed to benefit