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Clinical Significance

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Edited by: Published: 2010
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In treatment outcome research, statistically significant changes in symptom severity or end-state functioning have traditionally been used to demonstrate treatment efficacy. In more recent studies, the effect size, or magnitude of change associated with the experimental intervention, has also been an important consideration in data analysis and interpretation. To truly understand the impact of a research intervention, it is essential for the investigator to adjust the lens, or “zoom out,” to also examine other signifiers of change. Clinical significance is one such marker and refers to the meaningfulness, or impact of an intervention, on clients and others in their social environment. An intervention that is clinically significant must demonstrate substantial or, at least, reasonable benefit to the client or others, such as family members, ...

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