Essentials of a Successful Biostatistical Collaboration: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Essentials of a Successful Biostatistical Collaboration

1st Edition

By Arul Earnest

Chapman and Hall/CRC

280 pages | 93 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482226980
pub: 2016-09-19
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315373447
pub: 2016-10-14
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The aim of this book is to equip biostatisticians and other quantitative scientists with the necessary skills, knowledge, and habits to collaborate effectively with clinicians in the healthcare field. The book provides valuable insight on where to look for information and material on sample size and statistical techniques commonly used in clinical research, and on how best to communicate with clinicians. It also covers the best practices to adopt in terms of project, time, and data management; relationship with collaborators; etc.


"Finally! A book that really captures the essence of what it takes for statisticians to collaborate successfully with others to solve health and medical problems!" ~The American Statistician

Table of Contents

Observational Study Designs


Comparative features between cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies

Selecting the appropriate study design

Key questions to ask clinician

Common mistakes

Online tools and resources

A collaborative case-study

Key learning points

Randomised Controlled Trials


Phases and types of trials

Types and features of randomisation

Controls and Blinding

Other types of RCTs

Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB)

Choosing outcome measures for a trial

Key questions to ask clinicians

Tools and resources

A collaborative case-study

Key learning points

Form Design and Database Management


Principles of questionnaire design

Types of variables and scales of measurement

Finding a suitable database software for your study

Efficient ways to create and manage an Excel database

Key questions to ask clinician

Common mistakes to avoid

Tools and resources

A collaborative case-study

Key learning points

Sample Size and Power Calculations


Hypothesis testing and sample size: linking them

Ingredients in a sample size calculation

Commonly performed sample size calculations

Key questions to ask clinician

Common mistakes

Tools and resources

A collaborative case-study

Key learning points

Statistical Analysis Plan


Choosing the appropriate statistical method

Common statistical hypotheses and tests

Univariate analysis

Bivariate analysis

Multivariate analysis

Issues to note

Key questions to ask clinicians

A collaborative case-study|

Key learning points

Effective Communication Skills


The initial meeting

Difficulty in understanding medical jargons

Challenges in explaining statistical concepts to clinicians

Effective presentation skills

Tools and resources

A collaborative case-study

Key learning points

Effective Writing Skills


Writing a statistical analysis plan for a grant application

Writing for a publication- first author publication

Discussion & Conclusion

Writing for a publication- collaborative publication


Key learning points

Project Management- Best Practices


Creation of a project file

Database security and confidentiality

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Ensuring consistency and reproducibility in the results

Managing multiple projects

Obtaining mentorship

Poor project management skills (The ‘Not’s to avoid)

A collaborative case-study

Key learning points

Managing Collaborations


Getting the most out of a collaboration

Providing collaboration in a large complex institution- Hub and spoke model

Providing consultations

Seven faces of collaborators

Useful strategies to adopt in managing a collaboration

Responding to unreasonable work requests

Reasoning with a collaborator who engages in data dredging

Coping with an unreasonable request on turnaround time

Negotiating authorship

International collaborators

Key learning points

How Not to Design, Analyse and Present your Study


Choosing the inappropriate study design

Selecting too few subjects in the study

Incorrect use of randomization

Undertaking incorrect statistical tests

Not checking for the assumptions behind the test

Data dredging

Presenting tables and figures inappropriately

Reporting and interpreting data inappropriately


Views from the Ground- A Survey among Biostatisticians and a Chat with Clinicians


Survey methodology & profile of respondents

Problems ever faced in collaborating with clinicians

Training on collaboration/consultation skills

Frequency of performing selected tasks as a biostatistician

Issues to address in order to enhance greater collaborations

Skills most important to gain on improving collaborations with clinicians

Views from clinicians who have collaborated with biostatisticians


About the Author

Arul Earnest is an associate professor at School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia. He was previously the director of the Centre for Quantitative Medicine, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore.

About the Series

Chapman & Hall/CRC Biostatistics Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / General
MEDICAL / Pharmacology
MEDICAL / Biostatistics