USMLE Question of the Week

Understanding Statistical Power

In Episode 28 of Med School Question of the Week for USMLE, Alisa Khomutova, MedSchoolCoach expert tutor, answers this medical school question:

A group of investigators is evaluating the efficacy of intranasal ketamine in decreasing acute suicidality in teenagers admitted to the ED. They conducted a study in which 25 participants were randomized to receive intranasal ketamine while 25 participants were randomized to receive placebo. The investigators ultimately found no statistically significant difference i suicidality after 1 month of follow up with the level of significance fixed at 5%. They suspect inadequate statistical power. Assuming the investigators intend to keep the level of significance at 5%, which of the following changes would be most effective to increase the statistical power?

  • Decrease sample size
  • Increase type 1 error
  • Increase alpha
  • Decrease type 1 error
  • Decrease alpha
  • Increase beta
  • Decrease type 2 error

Watch to find out!

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