1st Edition

Basic Statistical Techniques for Medical and Other Professionals A Course in Statistics to Assist in Interpreting Numerical Data

By David Smith Copyright 2022
    136 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    136 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    136 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    We are bombarded with statistical data each and every day, and healthcare professionals are no exception. All sectors of healthcare rely on data provided by insurance companies, consultants, research firms, and government to help them make a host of decisions regarding the delivery of medical services. But while these health professionals rely on data, do they really make the best use of the information? Not if they fail to understand whether the assumptions behind the formulas generating the numbers make sense. Not if they don’t understand that the world of healthcare is flooded with inaccurate, misleading, and even dangerous statistics. The purpose of this book is to provide members of medical and other professions, including scientists and engineers, with a basic understanding of statistics and probability together with an explanation and worked examples of the techniques. It does not seek to confuse the reader with in-depth mathematics but provides basic methods for interpreting data and making inferences. The worked examples are medically based, but the principles apply to the analysis of any numerical data.





    Chapter 1: Why one Needs Statistical Techniques

    Variables and Attributes

    Spread of a Variable


    Taking Samples

    Chapter 2: Probability and its Rules

    Empirical v À Priori


    Mutually Exclusive Events

    Exercise 1 – Manipulating Probabilities

    Chapter 3: Dealing with Variables

    The Mean

    Standard Deviation and Variance

    Grouped Data


    Exercise 2 – Mean and Standard Deviation

    Inference and Confidence

    Coefficient of Variation

    Exercise 3 – Mean and Coefficient of Variation

    Medians and Percentiles

    Exercise 4 – Median Life Expectancy

    Geometric Mean

    Chapter 4: Comparing Variables

    Comparing the Standard Deviations

    Comparing the Means

    Exercise 5 – Comparing Two Standard Deviations


    Chapter 5: Establishing Trends

    Visual Presentation of data



    Some Pitfalls


    Logarithmic Scales

    Moving Averages

    Control Charts

    Chapter 6: Dealing with Attributes


    Poisson Approximation

    Exercise 6 – Attributes using Poisson Curves

    Chapter 7: Testing for Significance (Attributes)

    Chi Squared

    Exercise 7 – Chi Squared

    Chapter 8: Correlation and Regression

    Relating two Variables

    Exercise 8 – Correlation

    False Correlation

    Establishing a Normal Distribution

    Chapter 9: Handling Numbers (Large and Small)

    Big Numbers

    Small Numbers

    Multiplying and Dividing

    Negative Exponents

    Exercise 9 – Large and Small Numbers

    Chapter 10: An Introduction to Risk

    Individual Risk

    Fatal Accident Frequency (FAFR)

    Maximum Tolerable Risk

    As Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP)

    Exercise 10 – SLY/Cost per life Saved

    Chapter 11: A Final Word

    Appendix 1 Manipulating numbers in Spreadsheets

    Appendix 2 Brief Glossary of Terms

    Appendix 3 Normal Distribution Table

    Appendix 4 The F Distribution Tables

    Appendix 5 The t Distribution Table

    Appendix 6 Cumulative Poisson Curves

    Appendix 7 Percentage Points of the Chi Squared Distribution

    Appendix 8 Answers to the Exercises

    Appendix 9 Further Reading


    Dr. David J. Smith is the Proprietor of Technis Consultancy and has over forty years of experience in reliability and risk assessment and training courses. He is a self-starter who as a leading consultant, and previously as a senior manager in a number of large organizations, has been proactive in the areas of reliability and risk engineering and software quality in both onshore and offshore projects. He’s also a major contributor to national and international standards on functional safety-integrity. An innovator with both management and technical skills in a range of industries who is well known for his contribution to the risk, reliability and quality profession. Author of 8 successful books and numerous papers. Two of his books are regarded as the standard works on the subject. A consultant in his field, for over 30 years, and creator of 6 reliability data and prediction software packages widely used in the profession. His main books are: Reliability, Maintainability and Risk, 9th Edition, Elsevier and The Safety Critical Systems Handbook, 4th edition, 2010, Elsevier.