Exercise: length of femur paper, answer 4

Question 4: What is meant by ‘the coefficient of variation was 4.6%’? When is this method appropriate?

Suggested answer:

A coefficient of variation (CV) is the ratio of a standard deviation to a mean. Here standard deviation is the within-subject standard deviation.

The method is appropriate when the standard deviation of repeated measurements on the same subject is not constant but varies with the magnitude of the measurement. The coefficient of variation is then the ratio of the standard deviation of repeated measurements to the mean for a subject. We can estimate the within-subject standard deviation for any magnitude of measurement by multiplying the magnitude by the CV.

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