# Discussion 1: Knowing About Variability

When calculating confidence intervals with two samples, the difficult part is deciding whether the differences you observe in two groups are statistically significant. The confidence intervals can help you make that decision. When comparing the means of two groups, subtract one mean from the other. If they are the same, the answer will be zero. Remember that with the 95% confidence interval there is a range of values that contain the true mean in 95 of 100 samples. If zero is part of that range then the difference of the two means is not statistically significant. But what happens when you are comparing odds as in odds ratios? Since this is a ratio, divide the odds of one group by the odds of the other. If they are the same the answer is one. Again, remember that with the 95% confidence interval there is a range of values that contain the true mean in 95 of 100 samples. Now, however, if the value of one is part of that range the ratio of the two odds is not statistically significant. Keep this in mind as you complete your Discussion this week.

For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources and examine the factors that might influence variability in health outcomes. Also, explore social determinants of health that might support the factors described by your colleagues

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