Title

The Inexact Use of Fisher's Exact Test in Six Major Medical Journals.

Publication/Presentation Date

6-16-1989

Abstract

We reviewed the use of Fisher's Exact Test in 71 articles published between 1983 and 1987 in six medical journals. Thirty-three of 56 selected articles did not specify use of a one- or two-tailed test, and 12 (36%) of these actually used the one-tailed test. Five (42%) of these 12 articles contained at least one table in which the standard significance level of P less than .05 was no longer met when a two-tailed analysis was run instead. Eleven (65%) of 17 articles with a statistical consultant compared with 10 (28%) of 36 articles without a consultant specified use of a one- or two-sided test. The use of Fisher's Exact Test without specification as a one- or two-tailed version may misrepresent the statistical significance of data. A uniform specification statement should be required for all manuscripts to correct such potential errors in interpretation.

Volume

261

Issue

23

First Page

3430

Last Page

3433

ISSN

0098-7484

Disciplines

Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences

PubMedID

2724487

Department(s)

Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty

Document Type

Article