You are counseling an adolescent patient about the long-term management of her asthma while she is away at college. She brought an article she found on the Internet that promotes an herbal supplement purported to be a “safe, natural” treatment for asthma. You recall a recent study in the medical literature showing inhaled steroids to be statistically superior to the advertised herbal supplement at preventing asthma exacerbations at the p < 0.05 level. You explain to her that this means which of the following?

  1.  The inhaled steroids are 5% better than herbal treatment
  2. A critical threshold for medical significance has been reached
  3. Patients will not benefit from the herbal treatment 5% of the time
  4. The odds are less than 1 in 20 that the differences observed were only a chance variation
  5. It would be unethical to use herbal treatment’

the answer is below…

Continue reading