When findings for a particular testing show statistical but no clinical significance or vice versa, which of the two significances the researcher should adhere to in the clinical arena?Clinical trials are done to provide answers or perspectives to clinical questions using clinical parameters to monitor outcomes.
Naturally, the clinical relevance of the data obtained should be given more importance. Clinicians must refer to the clinical significance of the data before making a value judgment or deciding on a course of treatment.Statistically significant data can only give the researcher a yes or no answer concerning a testing done to a control group. Statistical significance won’t provide data about how a treatment, for example, differs from one individual to another. A statistically significant result can only mean that there’s little chance the results occurred by chance.
However, W.J. Killoy in his book The clinical significance of local chemotherapies.
J Clin Periodontol 2002, said that “clinical significance is a subjective evaluation of significance by the clinician and that before a finding can be clinically significant, it must have achieved statistical significance.” (cited in Gary Greenstein, D.D.S., M.S., Clinical versus statistical significance as they relate to the efficacy of periodontal therapy).