This article will acquaint the reader with the most commonly used summary statistics and their appropriate use in craniomandibular and orofacial pain disorders. Hopefully it will also encourage the reader to critically examine published papers, experimental design, and statistical treatment of data by asking these questions: Have experiments been properly designed? Has enough information been presented so that research can be repeated? Were subjects randomly assigned and treated? Was the statistical analysis described clearly and succinctly, and was it appropriate? Did the experimental data and results support the conclusions of the article? Were the findings statistically significant, and if so, were they clinically significant and meaningful? Anecdotal clinical studies of temporomandibular disorder sufferers can no longer be considered as the gold standard.
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