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Ann Emerg Med. 1990 Sep;19(9):1054-9.

Introduction to biostatistics: Part 5, Statistical inference techniques for hypothesis testing with nonparametric data.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Health Services, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.

Erratum in

  • Ann Emerg Med 1991 May;20(5):573.


Specific statistical tests are used when the null hypothesis (H0) is to be tested using nonparametric nominal or ordinal data. With nominal data, experimental results are expressed by proportions or frequencies. Chi-square or related tests (the Fisher's exact test or the rows by columns test) are appropriate for testing H0 with nominal data. Ordinal data permit arrangement of statistical results by rank. Rank-order tests used to test H0 with ordinal data include the Mann-Whitney U, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Wilcoxon, Kruskal-Wallis, and Friedman tests. The Kruskal-Wallis and Friedman tests permit multiple intergroup comparisons. Other rank-order tests permit only single intergroup comparisons. Specific details to guide the researcher in the proper selection of these tests are presented.

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