Likelihood ratio interpretation of the relative risk

Suhail A R Doi, Polychronis Kostoulas, Paul Glasziou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

What is already known on this topic:
⇒ The risk ratio (relative risk) is a ratio of two risks that is interpreted
as connecting the intervention conditional risks in a clinical trial.

What this study adds:
⇒ It is demonstrated that the conventional interpretation of the risk ratio is in conflict with Bayes’ theorem.
⇒ The interpretation of the risk ratio as a likelihood ratio connecting prior
(unconditional) intervention risk to outcome conditional intervention risk is required to avoid conflict with Bayes’ theorem.

How this study might affect research, practice or policy:
⇒ The interpretation of the risk ratio as an effect measure in a clinical trial
is naïve and better replaced by its interpretation as a likelihood ratio.
⇒ The ratio of the complementary risk ratio's (or likelihood ratio's) is what
should actually be interpreted as an effect measure connecting the
intervention conditional risks in a clinical trial.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalBMJ Evidence-Based Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2022

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