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How do you know if the results of a particular study are important to your team, your patients or your community? A result that is statistically significant is not necessarily a meaningful target for sports injury prevention or a treatment strategy.1–3 And if statistical significance is not enough to determine ‘importance’ or meaningfulness, then what is?
Box 1 Definition: Minimal important difference (MID)
Minimal important difference (MID) is the smallest change in sports injury risk or treatment outcome that an athlete, a player, a coach, a clinician and/or team staff would identify as important. The size of MID is context-specific and a study result may be identified as important for some and non-important for others.
We aim to shed light on this important topic in the first of a series of editorials that will help clinicians and team staff interpret studies more critically and confidently. First, a measure of association (eg, a relative risk or an absolute risk difference) and its precision (eg, 95% CIs) allows for appropriate evaluation of study results.1 Next, a size of an association should be equal to or exceed a minimal important difference (MID) (box 1) that would affect practice. In this light, the question remains: is it possible to identify a MID in sports injury articles regardless of the measure of association used?
In this editorial, we argue that the choice of measure has consequences for the ability to …
Contributors RON drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to development of the idea and revised the manuscript for important intellectual content.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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