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Confidence intervals illuminate absence of evidence

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 22 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1016
  1. Doug Altman, director (,
  2. J Martin Bland, professor of health statistics
  1. Cancer Research UK Medical Statistics Group, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Oxford OX3 7LF
  2. Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York YO10 5DD

    EDITOR—We agree with Alderson that authors should recognise that non-significant results are compatible with a range of possible findings.1 Papers in the same issue of the BMJ do not adhere to this good advice.

    Koivunen et al concluded that adenoidectomy is not effective and cannot be recommended, yet the 95% confidence interval for further …

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