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Comment & Response
September 4, 2018

Lowering the P Value Threshold

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
JAMA. 2018;320(9):935-936. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8729

To the Editor Changing the P value threshold to .005 does not solve the issue of how to interpret P values.1 It simply shifts the burden of proof to require a more extreme difference.

Uncertainty regarding the potential benefit of a therapy that demonstrated a clinically meaningful but now statistically nonsignificant result would increase.2 The demonstration of the reproducibility of experiments, a cornerstone of the scientific method, would be diminished and restricted to those therapies showing large differences (together with large sample sizes). Clinicians may feel abandoned.

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