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Part III: Statistical Significance Testing


  • Leah L. Albers CNM, DrPH,

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    • Leah L. Albers, CNM, DrPH, received her nursing degrees from Vanderbilt University (B.S.N., 1971, and M.S.N., 1974). She studied nurse-midwifery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (1977). She was in full-scope practice for 11 years and then completed the Dr.P.H. degree at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health (1990). Currently she is at the University of New Mexico where she is an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine. She is engaged in practice, teaching, and research on perinatal health issues.

  • Patricia Aikins Murphy CNM, MS

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    • Patricia Aikins Murphy, CNM, MS, is an assistant professor of clinical nursing (nurse-midwifery) at Columbia University. She graduated from that program in 1979. She is a doctoral candidate in public health (epidemiology) at the Columbia University School of Public Health. Her research interests include perinatal and women's health issues, as well as the application of epidemiologic principles to clinical practice.

University of New Mexico College of Nursing, Albuquerque, NM 87131–1061.


Reading and interpreting research studies is an important and necessary activity of clinical practitioners. Correct evaluation of research findings requires appreciation of certain fundamentals of research methodology and statistics. This article, the third of the series, will review issues pertinent to statistical significance testing.