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Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2004 Oct;4(5):581-5. doi: 10.1586/14737167.4.5.581.

The truly remarkable universality of half a standard deviation: confirmation through another look.

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  • 1McMaster University, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Building T-13, 1280 Main St., W.Hamilton, Ontarion, L8S 4K1, Canada.


In this issue of Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, Farivar, Liu, and Hays present their findings in 'Another look at the half standard deviation estimate of the minimally important difference in health-related quality of life scores (hereafter referred to as 'Another look') . These researchers have re-examined the May 2003 Medical Care article 'Interpretation of changes in health-related quality of life: the remarkable universality of half a standard deviation' (hereafter referred to as 'Remarkable') in the hope of supporting their hypothesis that the minimally important difference in health-related quality of life measures is undoubtedly closer to 0.3 standard deviations than 0.5. Nonetheless, despite their extensive wranglings with the exclusion of many articles that we included in our review; the inclusion of articles that we did not include in our review; and the recalculation of effect sizes using the absolute value of the mean differences, in our opinion, the results of the 'Another look' article confirm the same findings in the 'Remarkable' paper.


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