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Health Educator, v40 n1 p29-36 Spr 2008

Health education researchers have called for research articles in health education to adhere to the recommendations of American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association regarding the reporting and use of effect sizes and confidence intervals (CIs). This article expands on the recommendations by (a) providing an overview of CIs, (b) evaluating the use and interpretation of CIs in selected journals in health education, (c) presenting how to calculate CIs using statistical software, and (d) suggesting how to interpret and use CIs. Thirty-three articles in the American Journal of Health Behavior and Health Education & Behavior were evaluated. The evaluation showed that although CIs were reported in approximately half of the evaluated quantitative studies, they were not interpreted in any of the studies. The lack of interpretation of CIs indicates that health educators might not fully understand the meaning of CIs and consequently could not make use of CIs except for presenting the numbers. This article intends to increase health researchers' understanding of CIs, encourage the practice of thinking meta-analytically, and facilitate the use of CIs in the future. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)

Descriptors: Intervals, Health Education, Health Behavior, Professional Associations, Effect Size, Researchers, Evaluation, Meta Analysis, Statistical Analysis

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Autor: Zhang, Jing; Hanik, Bruce W.; Chaney, Beth H.


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