Author’s response

We want to thank Dr Sabour for his interest in our study.

We would like to clarify the main ideas of the discussed methods. Intraclass coefficients (ICCs) mainly supply data regarding the reproducibility of a method applied by the same operator at different times. On the other hand, Bland-Altman plots give us the level of agreement of a set of data obtained at different times from the same test material. Furthermore, the plot presents the level of agreement visually for the reader to interpret the clinical relevance objectively. For our set of data, using ICCs to evaluate the difference between time points would be inappropriate since the data did not comprise intrareliability but, rather, the reproducibility of a position by the subject. Therefore, we used ICCs only to determine intraoperator reliability, and we think that Bland-Altman plots provided the necessary information for readers and directed them to interpret the clinical significance of the results.

Paired sample t tests and Wilcoxon signed rank tests were performed only to show the statistical significance of the differences between time points. The interpretations depending only on the P value have been disregarded by most researchers, since statistically significant differences may not have practical and clinically relevant importance. The P value of the same data and thus the significance or nonsignificance of the results may change because of the type of statistical analysis. Therefore, we tried to emphasize the clinical significance of the results throughout the article, and to prevent any misunderstandings, the conclusion mentioned only the deviation within a small range, guiding the reader to scrutinize the data, which were presented with minimums, maximums, means, standard deviations, mean differences, 95% confidence intervals of the mean differences, and t values. In addition, the distributions of the data for both time points were illustrated in the study.

As a result, we think that the applied statistical methods, the organization of the article, and the conclusions drawn from the quantitative data would not lead readers to any misguidance or misinterpretations.

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Apr 4, 2017 | Posted by in Orthodontics | Comments Off on Author’s response
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