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Statistics: The grammar of science

      For clinicians, the desire to base practice and treatment decisions on the best available evidence is strong, and they are fuelled by the desire to deliver optimal patient care and achieve the best possible outcomes. In the decades since the birth of evidence-based practice, advances in research methods have developed to ensure the highest quality evidence is produced. However, the evidence warrants scrutiny because inadequacies in research methods, including statistical analysis, can jeopardise research quality. Here, we broach two aspects of statistical reporting that are of current interest and importance to our journal. The first is practical and local: How best to report and interpret statistical methods in manuscripts submitted to Australian Critical Care(ACC)? The second is almost philosophical and definitely global: the current controversy and recommendations around the interpretation of P-values and use of the term ‘statistically significant’.
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