Sample Nursing Paper on Statistical and Clinical Significance

Statistical and Clinical Significance

Statistical and clinical significance are not synonymous. The former is when findings support the null hypothesis. The only condition necessary for statistical significance to exist is that the sample size has to be big enough. According to Thompson (2017), any data can have statistical significance as long as the sample size is large enough. Clinical significance, on the contrary, relates to the relevance of findings to clinical practice, such as through its potential to result in a change in the process of drug administration. A data set, therefore, has the probability of being statistically and clinically significance. A study supporting the null hypothesis can as well be clinically significance depending on what the null hypothesis is, the credibility of the research and its findings, and the existing clinical practices. For instance, a study on the impacts of sugar consumption on exacerbation of diabetes could have the null hypothesis that there is no relationship between sugar consumption and diabetes exacerbation. Where the conventional clinical practice entails patient advice to avoid sugar consumption, the clinical practice would change to exclude that advice.

For the results of a study to have clinical significance, they should be accurate, reliable, and valid (Skelly, 2014). Thus, qualitative study results have to be confirmed to be credible before the decision to implement can be taken. As such, the lack of credibility implies the absence of clinical significance. For instance, a study result that shows that the dosage of psychotic drugs for a particular patient population is ineffective for treating depression can only be clinically significant if the research and the findings are deemed credible. Implementing such findings without confirming the research’s credibility can result in adverse drug effects on the patients. Specifically, the findings would result in either under-dosage or overdosage if without credible arguments.




Skelly, A.C. (2014). Credibility matters: Mind the gap. Evidence-Based Spine Care Journal, 5(1), 2-5. Retrieved from

Thompson, C.J. (2017, April 11). What’s the difference between statistical significance and clinical significance? Nursing Education Expert. Retrieved from