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To the Editor:—
Negative results may often be more important than positive ones, but a failure to find significant differences in a positive direction is not necessarily a negative result.The paper by Sbar and Schlant, is an interesting case in point. The value of this study is seriously weakened by the small number of patients and by absence of crossover between patients on placebo and active drug. Since no patient was used as his own control in any drug-placebo comparison, failure to attain levels of significance might well be due to small sample size and large variability in each test group as much as to the weakness of the therapeutic effect of the drug.For all of the measures used, comparison of mean values during the drug and placebo trimesters is an inappropriate test for the presence or absence of long-term effects since it gives equal weight to differences
Shapiro A. Dipyridamole in Treatment Of Angina Pectoris. JAMA. 1968;203(1):57. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140010058023
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