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Choosing a Statistical Test


To select the right test, ask yourself two questions: What kind of data have you collected? What is your goal? Then refer to Table 37.1.

Table 37.1. Selecting a statistical test

Goal Measurement (from Gaussian Population) Rank, Score, or Measurement (from Non- Gaussian Population) Binomial
(Two Possible Outcomes)
Survival Time
Describe one group Mean, SD Median, interquartile range Proportion Kaplan Meier survival curve
Compare one group to a hypothetical value One-sample t test Wilcoxon test Chi-square
Binomial test **
Compare two unpaired groups Unpaired t test Mann-Whitney test Fisher's test
(chi-square for large samples)
Log-rank test or Mantel-Haenszel*
Compare two paired groups Paired t test Wilcoxon test McNemar's test Conditional proportional hazards regression*
Compare three or more unmatched groups One-way ANOVA Kruskal-Wallis test Chi-square test Cox proportional hazard regression**
Compare three or more matched groups Repeated-measures ANOVA Friedman test Cochrane Q** Conditional proportional hazards regression**
Quantify association between two variables Pearson correlation Spearman correlation Contingency coefficients**  
Predict value from another measured variable Simple linear regression
Nonlinear regression
Nonparametric regression** Simple logistic regression* Cox proportional hazard regression*
Predict value from several measured or binomial variables Multiple linear regression*
Multiple nonlinear regression**
  Multiple logistic regression* Cox proportional hazard regression*

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Chi-Squared Test
Choosing a Statistical Test
Critical Reading
Statistics examples
Statistics Glossary
Statistics in Orthopaedics
Survivorship Analysis
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