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Confidence Limit Analyses Should Replace Power Calculations in the Interpretation of Epidemiologic Studies.

Smith, Allan H.; Bates, Michael N.

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Frequently, after an epidemiologic study is completed, statistical power to detect a relative risk of interest is recalculated using data obtained during the course of the study. A negative study may then be dismissed on the grounds that its power was too low. However, post hoc power calculations ignore the actual relative estimate and its variance, which are by then known. We present evidence that post-study power calculations have little value and should be replaced by a more informative method using the upper (1 - [alpha]) % confidence limit of the point estimate that touches the value of the relative risk of interest. (Epidemiology 1992;3:449-452)

(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.

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