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Comparing means or distributions

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  • 1 Statistical Communications, PO Box 671, Harvard, IL 60033.
Why It Matters

Veterinary researchers commonly compare means or distributions to answer research questions. For example, researchers in a study1 of anesthesia in badgers found a mean anesthesia duration of 16.8 minutes for a romifidine-ketamine-butorphanol combination, compared with 25.9 minutes for a medetomidine-ketamine-butorphanol combination. In a study2 of cats with chronic renal disease, males had a lower age distribution than did females.

When means are compared in veterinary medicine, the data are often misanalyzed. The methods used to compare means from repeated measurements are quite different from the methods used to compare means from independent samples.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Shott (stattwit@aol.com).