Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Interpreting risks and ratios in therapy trials

Australian Prescriber - Interpreting risks and ratios in therapy trials


To appreciate the significance of clinical trial results, clinicians need to understand the mathematical language used to describe treatment effects. When comparing intervention and control groups in a trial, results may be reported in terms of relative or absolute risk (or probability), or as more statistically sophisticated entities based on odds and hazard ratios. When events in the intervention group are significantly less frequent than in the control group, then relative risk, odds ratio and hazard ratio (and their confidence intervals) will be less than 1.0. If the converse holds true, these values will be greater than 1.0.

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