Statistical presentation and analysis of ordinal data in nursing research.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: The aim of this study was to review the presentation and analysis of ordinal data in three international nursing journals in 2003.

Method: In total, 166 full-length articles from the 2003 editions of Cancer Nursing, Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences and Nursing Research were reviewed for their use of ordinal data.

Results: This review showed that ordinal scales were used in about a third of the articles. However, only about half of the articles that used ordinal data had appropriate data presentation and only about half of the analyses of the ordinal data were performed properly.

Conclusions: Ordinal data are rather common in nursing research, but a large share of the studies do not present/analyse the result properly. Incorrect presentation and analysis of the data may lead to bias and reduced ability to detect statistical differences or effects, resulting in misleading information. This highlights the importance of knowledge about data level, and underlying assumptions for the statistical tests must be considered to ensure correct presentation and analyses of data.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-440
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000)

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