In everyday terms, a confidence interval is the range of values around a sample statistic (such
as mean or proportion) within which clinicians can expect to get the same results if they repeat
the study protocol or intervention, including measuring the same outcomes the same ways. As
you ask yourself, “Will I get the same results if I use this research?”, you must address the
precision of study findings, which is determined by the Confidence Interval. If the CI around the
sample statistic is narrow, you can be confident you will get close to the same results if you
implement the same research in your practice.
Consider the following example. Suppose that you did a systematic review of studies on the
effect of tai chi exercise on sleep quality, and you found that tai chi affected sleep quality in older
people. If, according to your study, you found the lower boundary of the CI to be .49, the study
statistic to be 0.87, and the upper boundary to be 1.25, this would mean that each end limit is
0.38 from the sample statistic, which is a relatively narrow CI.
(UB + LB)/2 = Statistic [(1.25 + .49)/2 = .87]
Keep in mind that a mean difference of 0 indicates there is no difference; this CI does not
contain 0. Therefore, the sample statistic is statistically significant and unlikely to occur by
Because this was a systematic review, and tai chi exercise has been established from the
studies you assessed as helping people sleep, based on the sample statistics and the CI,
clinicians could now use your study and confidently include tai chi exercises among possible
recommendations for patients who have difficulty sleeping.
Now you can apply your knowledge of CIs to create your own studies and make wise decisions
about whether to base your patient care on a particular research finding.
Initial Post Instructions
Find an example of a confidence interval in the news, scholarly source or medical journal.
Summarize the article/study. Does the article/study include the sample size and the level of
confidence used to create the confidence interval? Explain what the confidence interval means
in context of the news article or scholarly source.
Follow-Up Post Instructions
Respond to at least one peer. Further the dialogue by providing more information and
Here are some suggested responses
• How do you think the confidence interval that was presented in the study was
• Explain the mathematical concepts could you extract from this article/study.
• Minimum of 2 posts (1 initial & 1 follow-up)
• APA format for in-text citations and list of references