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When running my analysis on a dataset, I find a positive Mantel-Haenszel chi square trend statistic. Does this mean that the trend in the data is positive or simply that there is a trend? The data deals with the improvement of patients' symptoms after taking a drug or a placebo.

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Large values of the statistic would be associated with trend either way (to see this yourself, reverse the ordering of your categories, and see that the statistic doesn't change)

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    $\begingroup$ More generally, statistics with a Chi square distribution of any sort are always positive so their sign can't give any information. $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2012 at 7:33

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