Comparing Numerical Data

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This homework will be used to assess if you can critically Interpret quantitative evidence (such as graphs, tables, charts) in order to identify false claims, incorrect use of evidence, or contradictory statements.

The manufacturer of a decongestant A shows a graph on its outer packaging that indicates patients that took their product had relief from sinus congestion faster than those that took decongestant B (decongestant B is made by a different manufacturer). They provided the following table.

Decongestant Mean time until Relief Reported by Patient (hours)

A 6

B 7

Given your science decision-making background, you immediately recognize that a mean value for each decongestant is not enough information to make a scientifically sound decision regarding which drug provided relief faster. So, you search the scientific literature for peer-reviewed studies that may provide more information. None are found which is often the case for commercial companies as they keep their data as confidential as possible. However, you go to www.clinicaltrials.gov to get more information about this clinical trial that yielded the data. You obtain the following information from this government-run website for all clinical trials. You find the following data.

Decongestant Mean time until Relief Reported by Patient (hours) A 5

B 7.2


Standard Deviation(hours) Number of patients

2.6 20

2.9 20



A. Please describe how you would use this information to determine if there is any difference between the mean time until relief for the drugs in this clinical trial. Then, use the information to determine if there is a difference and what are the limitations of the method that you chose. Please comment on whether the packaging of decongestant A is truthful or not


You happen to pick up a package of decongestant B. This package makes a claim that decongestant B provides faster relief than decongestant A and they provide the following information that is referenced to their clinical trial at www.clinicaltrails.gov.


Decongestant Mean time until Relief Reported by Patient (hours)

A 6

B 5

Standard Deviation(hours) Number of patients

3.1 100

2.9 100




B. Please describe how you would use this information to determine if there is any difference between the mean time until relief of the drugs in this clinical trial. Then, use the information to determine if there is a difference and what are the limitations of the method that you chose. Please comment on whether or not the packaging of decongestant B is truthful or not.


C. Please comment on which drug you think provides faster relief and the rationale for your decision. Please respond to A, B, and C in paragraph form using proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.


Format:

1) Title page

2)Your responses (2 pages of “responses” maximum)

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