DNP 801 Topic 5 DQ 2

DNP 801 Topic 5 DQ 2

Explain the difference between statistical significance and clinical significance. Provide an example for each. How do statistical significance and clinical significance apply to a quality improvement initiative, like your future DPI Project?


and research in the medical field have provided enormous information that can be applied in clinical practice. However, it is important to understand the differences between since they are important aspects in the clinical field, application of evidence-based research, as well as clinical projects. Therefore, Sharma, (2021) explains that the main difference between clinical and statistical significance is that clinical significance observes dissimilarity between two groups or two treatment modalities while statistical significance on the other hand shows whether there is any mathematical significance to the carried analysis of the results or not.

 Additionally, Alsoufi, (2018) adds that statistically significant results do not necessarily mean that the results are clinically relevant because many outcomes can be but not clinically relevant. An example of clinical significance can be explained using two different chemotherapy agents for cancer whereby drug A is less expensive as compared to the usual chemotherapy agents and it increases the survival of treated patients by five years while drug B is more expensive than the usual chemotherapy drugs and increases the survival of the treated patient five months. Drug A is considered to be clinically significant because it increases the patients’ survival by five years and it is inexpensive while the statistical significance is the difference in values recorded in analysis when differentiating the years and months of patient survival.

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is very important and can be applied in clinical practice to improve service quality. Clinically significant research outcomes are considered to be clinically viable and can be implemented in healthcare facilities to improve the quality of healthcare services thus improving patient outcomes (Polit, 2017). From the example provided earlier in comparing the effectiveness of drugs A and B, drug A can be used in healthcare facilities in the treatment cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy thus improving their survival by five years.


Alsoufi, B. (2018). Statistical versus clinical significance. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 155(1), 344-345.DOI:

Polit, D. F. (2017). Clinical significance in nursing research: A discussion and descriptive analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 73, 17-23. 

Sharma H. (2021). Statistical significance or clinical significance? A researcher’s dilemma for appropriate interpretation of research results. Saudi journal of anaesthesia, 15(4), 431–434. 

Clinical significance is the importance of the research findings. How will it affect the clinical care being provided or how will it affect the clinical decision that needs to be made for care? While statistical significance is the knowledge that the results were based on facts and the interventions performed and not by chance or an accident that happened (Melnyk, & Fineout-Overholt, 2018).  The extent to which random errors in a study will affect it, is reported by using the statistical significance which is represented by p values (Melnyk, & Fineout-Overholt, 2018). When the clinical and statistical significance of a study is not understood, it can lead to misleading reports of the study results and the effects of the study. For instance, with clinical significance, if a study does not randomly assign participants to a particular group, there is a possibility that a lot of sick people could be on one group by chance and that will affect the results of the study (Melnyk, & Fineout-Overholt, 2018).

On the other hand, the statistical significance which is used to determine fact or chance, accepts or rejects the hypothesis, that is, what the author believes will happen. For instance, when an author compares two groups stating that the administration of pain medication to the intervention group and a placebo to the control group, stating that the medication will make a difference. The null hypothesis will be that it will not make a difference. Hence, the p value is used to determine the statistical significance. When the p value is small with large samples, it can lead to the study being reported as statistically significant but clinically insignificant while large p values with small sample sizes can be clinically significant and reported as statistically insignificant (Melnyk, & Fineout-Overholt, 2018).

When a study is clinically significant, it helps to improve the medical, physical, emotional and social aspects of care for a patient. It includes both the objective effects such as function, the duration of the illness and how long life is prolonged and the subjective effects refers to the improvement in their attitude, mood, and wellbeing, decrease in pain and increased comfort. Even though statistical significance does not mean clinical significance but it leads to the improvement in the care of the patient, therefore, in a DPI project, researchers and clinicians should not discount either but should pay attention to both to improve the outcome for the patient to decrease the chances of reporting a biased study (Sharma, 2021).


Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.

Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.

One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.

I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.

Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.

In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.

Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).

Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.

APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).

Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.

I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.

Use of Direct Quotes

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.

As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.

It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.

LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.

Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.

Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?

Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.

Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.

Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.

If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.

I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.

As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.


Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:

Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.

Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.

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