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Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
ISSN: 1995-7262
Vol. 24, No. 3, 2012, pp. 69-71
Bioline Code: mm12018
Full paper language: English
Document type: Special Article
Document available free of charge

Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2012, pp. 69-71

 en Statistics Corner: A guide to appropriate use of Correlation coefficient in medical research
Mukaka, M.M.

Abstract

Correlation is a statistical method used to assess a possible linear association between two continuous variables. It is simple both to calculate and to interpret. However, misuse of correlation is so common among researchers that some statisticians have wished that the method had never been devised at all. The aim of this article is to provide a guide to appropriate use of correlation in medical research and to highlight some misuse. Examples of the applications of the correlation coefficient have been provided using data from statistical simulations as well as real data. Rule of thumb for interpreting size of a correlation coefficient has been provided.

 
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