Role of Hypothesis Testing


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 Hypothesis testing is a procedure which results to making decisions that are rational. These are decisions which are made on the basis of reality about events. In hypothesis testing, there are various possibilities from which one alternative is selected. When one alternative is taken, it implies making decisions that are rational. Therefore, testing of hypothesis is essential since it gives guidelines towards solving or making good understandings of the problem. When the hypothesis is tested, one has strong basis of either to accept or reject the null hypothesis.


 In hypothesis testing, one first states the question of research which is also the initial claim. In the article, the research was based on how symptoms of depression and their diagnosis were related to high costs. It has been cited that depression diagnosis is costly and the failure to diagnose it can lead to the raising of costs in the laboratory.

That is why according to Callahan et al. (2002), there is need for study so as to be able to diagnose depression even at early times when it shows a few symptoms. When dealing with depression, decisions have to be made on the severity of the conditions. These include those cases that the clinicians can treat and those that need to be referred for further treatment and monitoring. These are decisions that may have both health and financial consequences on health care provision.

The next step is to state the hypothesis. According to Callahan et al. (2002), in diagnosis of depression, there exist charge differences due to the severity of the conditions i.e. whether symptoms are present or absent. It is also these symptoms that are used to determine the type and magnitude of health care that is offered for example, whether it is special care, hospitalization. The type and magnitude of care is proportional to the charges that are used.

Therefore, from these we can say that the null hypothesis here is that the diagnosis and symptoms of depression are associated to higher costs. We can thus form an alternative hypothesis that the diagnosis and symptoms of depression are not associated with higher costs. When the hypothesis is stated, one has to write all information that is related to the problem being discussed. In the study, depression symptoms and its diagnosis by physicians were studied in relation to medical charges.

Just like any other aspect that needs health care attention, depression; its symptoms and diagnosis have influences on the health care process. Depression diagnosis was related to the higher primary care and it also contributed to the prediction of the primary care magnitude as well as the total charges. According to the research, there is a clear relationship between charges for primary care as well as the total charges and depression.

However, it is not clear how depression associates with the charges that occur less frequently. In addition there are other factors that relate greatly to the health care charges. For instance, the age of the patient also determined the type of care they would get for example emergency care, hospitalization, special care. It is the status of ones health that can be used to predict greatly the charges magnitude. Therefore, to know how depression impacts on charges, these other factors should also be put into consideration.

In hypothesis testing, the critical value is then found and the test statistic computed. In researching on the association of depression and care charges, different methods were used. These are the medical outcomes study short form-36 which was used for assessment of health status, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BID) which was used for symptoms of depression. Depression diagnosis was done by the use of chart audit while care charges were determined electronically. By computing the test statistic, it showed that depression symptoms and diagnosis were relates to care charges.

There were also statistical models build up for the identification of predictors of the charges magnitude as well as occurrence. However, both symptoms and depression diagnosis did not predict the charges occurrence but a prediction of total charges and primary care was done by depression diagnosis. After computing the test statistic, one has to decide if to reject or accept the null hypothesis. From the statistics, it shows that the symptoms of depression and the diagnosis of depression are associated with care charges. Therefore, we can accept the null hypothesis.


The last step in hypothesis testing is making conclusions. We can conclude that though complex, there exists a relationship between the three factors being discussed. These are depression diagnosis, symptoms of depression and the medical care charges. Therefore, it is helpful to physicians who offer primary care in the diagnosis of depression. It thus would help them make more effective primary health care delivery to the depressed people and at the same time manage the expenditures of health care.

Since depression is a mental problem of health, it can be identified and solved by other simple interventions. For example, if the physician offering primary care is trained in communication skills, they can be able to communicate well with the depressed persons and hence greatly help in solving the problem.


Callahan et al. (2002). Association of higher costs with symptoms and diagnosis of depression. Journal of Family Practice 51(6), 540–544.


James Peter is the author and is associated with which is a global custom thesis writing  provider. If you would like help in essays, research papers, term papers and dissertations, you can visit BestEssaySite.Com

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