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Tutorial 7: Choice of Test and Confidence Intervals


What test should be used?

What are confidence Intervals?

Clinical and statistical significance


Tutorial 7 Content Map

Scenario Theme = Obesity, weight control, alcohol, liver and renal disease, cardiovascular diesease and risk factors

 This third statistics tutorial will cover one of the most essential areas of medical statistics: 

Choice of test and confidence intervals 

  • What test is appropriate?

  • What are confidence intervals and how do you use them? 

Please read the tutorial content before attempting the exercises at the end of this tutorial. Accompanying recommended text is given below - for reading after the tutorial if you would like to learn more or need clarification. 

Content in italics is thought by us to be too basic or too advanced for this course but will be addressed in the Glossary.


1. What test should be used?

  • How should we decide on a statistical test? 
  •  Flow charts
  • Quick Quiz 1

2. What are confidence intervals?

  • Sampling distributions
  • SE of mean
  • Confidence intervals  
  • Quick Quiz 2


3. When should confidence intervals be used and what do they tell us?

  • Clinical vs. statistical significance.
  • When should we use confidence intervals?
  • Quick Quiz 3
  • Optional Exercise


Online tutorial includes:

  • Worked examples
  • 3 quizzes



Chapter in: Bland, M. (2000). An introduction to Medical Statistics. (3rd ed.). Oxford : Oxford University Press.

8. Estimation


 Relevant chapters in an equivalent text book (e.g. Online Medical Statistics at Square One, chapters 1 and 2: Swinscow, TDV. (1997) Statistics at Square One (9th edition). BMJ Publishing Group.



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