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Fisher's Exact Test: a statistical tool presentation

Fisher's Exact Test: a statistical tool presentation

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TEST

FISHER'S EXACT TEST

a statistical significance test used in the analysis

of contingency tables.

a statistical test used to determine if there are

nonrandom associations between

two categorical/nominal variables.

provide a basic picture of the interrelation

between two variables and can help find

interactions between them

Reject null hypothesis if the value of

Probability(P) is small, usually smaller than 0.05

Nominal variable

a c a+c

Nominal

variable

b d b+d

a+b c+d N

p= ( ( a + b ) ! ( c + d ) ! ( a + c ) ! ( b + d ) ! ) / a ! b ! c ! d ! N !

1. For all possible tables (with the

observed marginal counts), calculate

the relevant hypergeometric

probability.

2. Use that probability as a statistic.

3. P-value (for Fisher’s exact test):

→ The sum of the probabilities

for all tables having a probability equal

to or smaller than that observed.

Assumptions

It is assumed that the value of the first person or

the unit of items that are being sampled do not

get affected by the value of the second person or

the other unit of item being sampled. This

assumption of the Fisher Exact test would be

violated if the data is pooled or united.

In the Fisher Exact test, mutual exclusivity within

the observations is assumed. In other words, the

given case should fall in only one cell in the table.

The dichotomous level of measurement of the

variables is assumed.

Assumptions

It is assumed that the value of the first person or the unit

of items that are being sampled do not get affected by

the value of the second person or the other unit of item

being sampled. This assumption of the Fisher Exact test

would be violated if the data is pooled or united.

In the Fisher Exact test, mutual exclusivity within the

observations is assumed. In other words, the given case

should fall in only one cell in the table.

The dichotomous level of measurement of the variables is

assumed.

EXAMPLE

The data in table 1 come from an RCT

comparing intramuscular magnesium

injections with placebo for the

treatment of chronic fatigue

syndrome.3 Of the 15 patients who had

the intra-muscular magnesium

injections 12 felt better (80 per cent)

whereas, of the 17 on placebo, only

three felt better (18 per cent).

Results of the study to examine whether intra-muscular magnesium is better

than placebo for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.†

NOTE:

Probability

P = (a+b)! (c+d)! (a+c)! (b+d)!

N! a! b! c! d!

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