Basic Statistical Techniques for Medical and Other Professionals : A Course in Statistics to Assist in Interpreting Numerical Data book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9781032114941
Published October 25, 2021 by Productivity Press
136 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents





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

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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.