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December 9, 1998

An Even Closer Look at Therapeutic Touch

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(22):1905-1908. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-22-jac80017

To the Editor.—No study, including the one on TT,1 can prove the nonexistence of a phenomenon. The null hypothesis is a useful methodologic convention fabricated for the purpose of avoiding experimental error. Proper use of hypothesis testing contradicts this article's "unrefuted evidence that the claims of TT are groundless and that further professional use is unjustified." The only conclusion is that, under the conditions of the experiment, a possible truth had not been discovered (a type I or α error—rejecting a hypothesis that actually is true).