Superiority trials, noninferiority trials, and prisoners of the 2-sided null hypothesis

Sackett, David L.
March 2004
ACP Journal Club;Mar/Apr2004, Vol. 140 Issue 2, pA-11
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the difficulties that clinicians face while trying a new treatment technique. They have to decide if the new treatment is better than the treatment they have been using till now or inferior to that. Progress toward this more informative goal has been slow because the physicians have been prisoners of traditional statistical concepts that call for 2-sided tests of statistical significance and require rejection of the null hypothesis. At the root of this problem is the null hypothesis, which decrees that the difference between a new and standard treatment ought to be zero.


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