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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998 Jun;118(6):892-5.

Box and whisker plots for graphic presentation of audiometric results of conductive hearing loss treatment.

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  • 1University Department of Otolaryngology, St. Augustinus Hospital, University of Antwerp, Antwerp-Wilrijk, Belgium.


The Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has published guidelines for the reporting of audiometric results of middle ear interventions. It recommends the reporting of several audiometric variables by means of two summary parameters: means and standard deviation. This article advocates the use of other summary statistics, namely the median, quartiles, and extremes, because they do not require a normal distribution of the audiometric data and they are not sensitive to variations of the extreme values. On the basis of the exploratory data analysis, we propose a graphic method to present the Committee's variables in terms of their summary statistics. This "multiple box and whisker plot" offers a detailed and accurate overview of six variables in one graph.

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