PMID: 16389921Jan 5, 2006Paper

Tutorial: using confidence curves in medical research

Biometrical Journal. Biometrische Zeitschrift
Ralf BenderHajo Zeeb


Confidence intervals represent a routinely used standard method to document the uncertainty of estimated effects. In most cases, for the calculation of confidence intervals the conventional fixed 95% confidence level is used. Confidence curves represent a graphical illustration of confidence intervals for confidence levels varying between 0 and 100%. Although such graphs have been repeatedly proposed under different names during the last 40 years, confidence curves are rarely used in medical research. In this paper, we introduce confidence curves and present a short historical review. We draw attention to the different interpretation of one- and two-sided statistical inference. It is shown that these two options also have influence on the plotting of appropriate confidence curves. We illustrate the use of one- and two-sided confidence curves and explain their correct interpretation. In medical research more emphasis on the choice between the one- and two-sided approaches should be given. One- and two-sided confidence curves are useful complements to the conventional methods of presenting study results.


Jan 1, 1990·Epidemiology·K M Sullivan, D A Foster
Jan 1, 1985·Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences·I VirtanenR Paasivuo
Apr 1, 1987·American Journal of Public Health·C Poole
Mar 15, 1986·British Medical Journal·M J Gardner, D G Altman
Dec 1, 1988·Statistics in Medicine·J Mau
Jul 1, 1987·American Journal of Public Health·D A Foster, K M Sullivan
Sep 1, 1986·Annals of Internal Medicine·R Simon
Feb 1, 1987·American Journal of Public Health·C Poole
Oct 1, 1994·Controlled Clinical Trials·M Borenstein
Jul 23, 1994·BMJ : British Medical Journal·J M Bland, D G Altman
Aug 30, 1996·Statistics in Medicine·C W Dunnett, M Gent
Dec 1, 1996·Obstetrics and Gynecology·S SidneyS Wolf
Aug 26, 1998·Annals of Epidemiology·L Friedman, M Proschan
Aug 26, 1998·Annals of Epidemiology·L A Moyé
Feb 13, 2001·Journal of Clinical Epidemiology·J A Knottnerus, L M Bouter

❮ Previous
Next ❯


Jul 5, 2019·Statistics in Medicine·Denis Infanger, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss
Apr 27, 2020·Research Synthesis Methods·Gerta Rücker, Guido Schwarzer

❮ Previous
Next ❯

Related Concepts

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.


Blastomycosis fungal infections spread through inhaling Blastomyces dermatitidis spores. Discover the latest research on blastomycosis fungal infections here.

Nuclear Pore Complex in ALS/FTD

Alterations in nucleocytoplasmic transport, controlled by the nuclear pore complex, may be involved in the pathomechanism underlying multiple neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia. Here is the latest research on the nuclear pore complex in ALS and FTD.

Applications of Molecular Barcoding

The concept of molecular barcoding is that each original DNA or RNA molecule is attached to a unique sequence barcode. Sequence reads having different barcodes represent different original molecules, while sequence reads having the same barcode are results of PCR duplication from one original molecule. Discover the latest research on molecular barcoding here.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Evolution of Pluripotency

Pluripotency refers to the ability of a cell to develop into three primary germ cell layers of the embryo. This feed focuses on the mechanisms that underlie the evolution of pluripotency. Here is the latest research.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.


Microbicides are products that can be applied to vaginal or rectal mucosal surfaces with the goal of preventing, or at least significantly reducing, the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Here is the latest research on microbicides.