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Clinical Inquiry and Hypothesis Testing

Clinical Inquiry and Hypothesis Testing

Sample Answer 

Clinical Inquiry and Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis testing is the process in which the strength of evidence drawn from a research finding is evaluated in order to determine its plausibility and make a conclusion based on these data. Hypothesis testing is achieved by examination of a random sample of the population under analysis. A hypothesis can either be a null hypothesis or an alternate hypothesis.

A null hypothesis proposes no statistical relationship or significance between any two sets of observed data (Davis & Mukamal, 2016). Example: Handwashing is not an effective cleaning technique in eliminating common hospital pathogens. This example indicates the lack of relationship between effective elimination of pathogens and handwashing as a cleaning technique.

The rejection criterion of a null hypothesis depends on the p values and alpha values. P values describe the likelihood of obtaining results from a sample when the formulated null hypothesis is true. The lower the p values, the lower the likelihood of obtaining the results, resulting in rejection of the null hypothesis. Alpha values, which quantify how low the p values can get before the sample results, qualifies to reject a null hypothesis, another criterion for rejecting a null hypothesis. Alpha values are usually set at .05. The null hypothesis is rejected when the values are lower than .05 (Li & Ghosh, 2016). Therefore, p and alpha values are significant in determining the likelihood of rejecting a null hypothesis.

The alternative hypothesis seeks to prove that there is a statistical relationship between a set of observed data. It is usually consistent with the research question and is a likely and favorable outcome for a researcher. Example: Handwashing is an effective cleaning technique in the elimination of common hospital pathogens- this example proves the relationship between handwashing as a cleaning technique and effective elimination of hospital pathogens.

Hypothesis testing is a significant component in medical research methodology as well as in the routine medical assessment of patients. It enables the determination of the occurrence of a medical event that directly influences the course of treatment and its outcomes. The positive effects of a treatment choice can also be interrogated by hypothesis testing (Agibetov et al., 2018). Variation of treatment outcomes among a group of patients can also be determined by observing a variable in these groups that can be extrapolated to these sets of variations. Hypothesis testing also enhances thorough assessment of patients and enables them to volunteer information regarding their health, which is crucial to their treatment process.

Hypothesis testing is a crucial tool both as a research methodology and in routine clinical operations. Its utility in establishing a linkage between the research variables and sample results in research studies as well as its use in patient assessment treatment and handling, confers its significance. The null hypothesis is specifically important in the assessment of the research question as it enables an elaborate and specific address to the research question. Therefore, it is important to test any research methodology hypothesis to determine its plausibility.


Agibetov, A., Jiménez-Ruiz, E., Ondrésik, M., Solimando, A., Banerjee, I., Guerrini, G., … Spagnuolo, M. (2018). Supporting shared hypothesis testing in the biomedical domain. Journal of Biomedical Semantics, 9(1), 1–22.

Davis, R. B., & Mukamal, K. J. (2016). Hypothesis Testing Means.

Li, Y., & Ghosh, D. (2016). A two-step hierarchical hypothesis set testing framework, with applications to gene expression data on ordered categories. BMC Bioinformatics, 15(1).


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Clinical Inquiry and Hypothesis Testing

Provide two different examples of how research uses hypothesis testing, and describe the criteria for rejecting the null hypothesis.

Discuss why this is important in your practice and with patient interactions.

Clinical Inquiry and Hypothesis Testing

Clinical Inquiry and Hypothesis Testing

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