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Keywords:

  • Composite hypotheses;
  • joint tests;
  • multiple hypotheses;
  • significance level adjustment

Objective. To provide guidelines for identifying composite hypotheses and addressing the probability of false rejection for multiple hypotheses.

Data Sources and Study Setting. Examples from the literature in health services research are used to motivate the discussion of composite hypothesis tests and multiple hypotheses.

Methods. This article is a didactic presentation.

Principal Findings. It is not rare to find mistaken inferences in health services research because of inattention to appropriate hypothesis generation and multiple hypotheses testing. Guidelines are presented to help researchers identify composite hypotheses and set significance levels to account for multiple tests.

Conclusions. It is important for the quality of scholarship that inferences are valid: properly identifying composite hypotheses and accounting for multiple tests provides some assurance in this regard.