A previous JAMA Guide to Statistics and Methods article1 briefly reviewed nonparametric statistics. Such statistical approaches represent the data using ranks of values rather than the observed values. This provides valid tests of significance, regardless of the underlying distributions of the values and without the need to posit parametric assumptions—thus the term “nonparametric statistics.” In the May 26, 2020, issue of JAMA, Baxter and colleagues from the N-TA3CT Research Group2 used a nonparametric analysis known as the worst-rank score method in a manner that also captured information from missing data that could result from worsening of the patient's condition.
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Lachin JM. Worst-Rank Score Methods—A Nonparametric Approach to Informatively Missing Data. JAMA. 2020;324(16):1670–1671. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7709
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