Outcomes Effect Sizes And Clinical Significance

The first problem concerned the type of data available for analysis. Many psychological measures are continuous rather than dichotomous. As a consequence, results are reported as mean differences between groups rather than as proportions of patients meeting a predetermined criterion of wellness. The metric used for continuous measures is the effect size (ES). The ES is computed by dividing the difference between the treatment and control group scores at the end of treatment by the pooled standard deviations of the samples. Adjustments are made for differing sample sizes and we also made a further adjustment to try to estimate the "true" difference between treatments by correcting the ES for the impact of the reliability of the measures used. This is important when the analysis includes ES values estimated from a range of measures which differ in reliability as the variation in reliability adds unwanted "noise" to the data.

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