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Stacy Christiansen and Connie Manno
Tables and figures show relationships among data and other types of numerical, textual, or visual information. Text may be preferred if the information can be presented concisely (Box
4.1-1). For qualitative information, small amounts of data with a few simple comparisons should usually be presented in words, whereas large amounts of data with several comparisons should usually be presented in tables, graphs, or illustrations. For quantitative information, a table should be used when the display of exact values is important, whereas a figure (eg, a line or bar graph) should be used to show patterns or trends. Tables also are often preferable to graphics for small data sets and are preferred when data presentation requires many specific comparisons. However, primary outcomes should not be presented in a figure only or referred to in the text only with a general statement. For those findings, absolute numbers and measures of variance should also be included in the text....