Data analysis methods in optometry Part 7: multiple linear regression

Richard A. Armstrong, Frank Eperjesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Multiple regression analysis is a complex statistical method with many potential uses. It has also become one of the most abused of all statistical procedures since anyone with a data base and suitable software can carry it out. An investigator should always have a clear hypothesis in mind before carrying out such a procedure and knowledge of the limitations of each aspect of the analysis. In addition, multiple regression is probably best used in an exploratory context, identifying variables that might profitably be examined by more detailed studies. Where there are many variables potentially influencing Y, they are likely to be intercorrelated and to account for relatively small amounts of the variance. Any analysis in which R squared is less than 50% should be suspect as probably not indicating the presence of significant variables. A further problem relates to sample size. It is often stated that the number of subjects or patients must be at least 5-10 times the number of variables included in the study.5 This advice should be taken only as a rough guide but it does indicate that the variables included should be selected with great care as inclusion of an obviously unimportant variable may have a significant impact on the sample size required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalOptometry Today
Issue numberJune
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • multiple regression analysis
  • statistical method
  • statistical procedures


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