The concept of personalised nutrition and exercise prescription represents a topical and exciting progression for the discipline given the large inter-individual variability that exists in response to virtually all performance and health related interventions. Appropriate interpretation of intervention-based data from an individual or group of individuals requires practitioners and researchers to consider a range of concepts including the confounding influence of measurement error and biological variability. In addition, the means to quantify likely statistical and practical improvements are facilitated by concepts such as confidence intervals (CIs) and smallest worthwhile change (SWC). The purpose of this review is to provide accessible and applicable recommendations for practitioners and researchers that interpret, and report personalised data. To achieve this, the review is structured in three sections that progressively develop a statistical framework. Section 1 explores fundamental concepts related to measurement error and describes how typical error and CIs can be used to express uncertainty in baseline measurements. Section 2 builds upon these concepts and demonstrates how CIs can be combined with the concept of SWC to assess whether meaningful improvements occur post-intervention. Finally, Section 3 introduces the concept of biological variability and discusses the subsequent challenges in identifying individual response and non-response to an intervention. Worked numerical examples and interactive supplementary material are incorporated to solidify concepts and assist with implementation in practice.
SWINTON, P.A., HEMINGWAY, B.S., SAUNDERS, B., GUALANO, B. and DOLAN, E. 2018. A statistical framework to interpret individual response to intervention: paving the way for personalised nutrition and exercise prescription. Frontiers in nutrition [online], 5, article number 41. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2018.00041