Clinical significance


Clinical significance refers to the practical value of a study, the judgement the evaluator must make when deciding if the results are significant enough to make a clinical difference (University of Western States, 2011). Statistical significance tells us the likelihood of the results being replicated. This is expressed as p value and states the probability of the results being due to luck or chance. In health care studies the p value is usually set at 0.5, indicating there is a 5% probability the results were due to chance (University of Ottowa, n.d.). Clinical significance can support the outcomes in my project by highlighting improved patient outcomes. My EBP project focuses on a reduction in length of hospital stay due to early mobility. While there are many factors that influence how long a patient remains in the hospital, such as comorbidities, any reduction in length of stay benefits the patient. In many of the studies I have read, the researchers comment on the fact that they cannot control all factors of the study, which may have an effect on the measurable outcomes. If I were to collect data, such as hospital length of stay, on patients before the implementation of an early mobility protocol and again 4 weeks after implementation the patient population at the time may be drastically different. That is where clinical significance would support the positive outcome of any reduction in hospital length of stay.


University of Ottowa. (n.d.). Statistical Significance and Clinical Importance. Retrieved from University of Ottowa:

University of Western States. (2011). P Values, statistical significance & clinical significance. Retrieved from University of Western States: