How to report reliability in orthodontic research: Part 2

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Proper statistical analysis is an absolutely essential tool for both clinicians and researchers attempting to implement evidence-based decisions. When analyzing reliability, statistical graphic representation is the best method. Other previously published error studies of 2-dimensional measurements, such as cephalometric landmarks, have inappropriately applied 1-dimensional approaches, such as linear or angular measurements. The aim of this article is to illustrate a graphic presentation method that can be applied to 2-dimensional data sets. We propose that this technique can show errors in both the x-axis and the y-axis simultaneously and should be used when reporting the reliability of a 2-dimensional data set. Our prediction error analysis of soft-tissue changes after orthognathic surgery will be presented as an example. By using different colors in each ellipse, this method can also identify any between-group differences.

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