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Statistical Significance vs Significance of Study

Please identify the difference between statistical significance and significance of a study.
Then present an example of each (statistical significance and significance of the study) from a QUANTITATIVE study.
What are the value of the research results?
What kind of studies contribute to nursing knowledge development and research?

Solution Preview

Excellent questions! Let's take a closer look. I also attached two supporting resources.

RESPONSE:

1. Please identify the difference between statistical significance and significance of a study.

Although in English, "significant" means important, this is not necessarily in statistics significance, so it somewhat deceiving.
Rather, in Statistics, "significant" means probably true (not due to chance). A research finding may be true without being important. When statisticians say a result is "highly significant" they mean it is very probably true and that the difference found is probably not due to chance. They do not (necessarily) mean it is highly important. (1)

On the other hand, when we speak of significance of the study, we are talking about importance of the study and /or results to the field of nursing, to the nursing practice, to patients and/or to the community as a whole.

2. Then present an example of each (statistical significance and significance of the study) from a QUANTITATIVE study.

EXAMPLE: Statistical Significance

The following study found statistical significance when investigating whether lower levels of staffing by nurses at hospitals are associated with an increased risk that patients will have complications or die. In other words, the greater the number of staff, the less likely patients would have complications e.g., urinary track infections, etc.).

Methods - They used administrative data from 1997 for 799 hospitals in 11 states (covering 5,075,969 discharges of medical patients and 1,104,659 discharges of surgical patients) to examine the relation between the amount of care provided by nurses at the hospital and patients' outcomes. The authors conducted regression analyses in which we controlled for patients' risk of adverse outcomes, differences in the nursing ...

Solution Summary

Through explanation and illustrative example from a quantitative study, this solution identifies the difference between statistical significance and significance of a study. It also discusses the value of the research results and the kind of studies that contribute to nursing knowledge development and research. Study attached for further research.

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