1st Edition

Practical Statistics for Medical Research

By Douglas G. Altman Copyright 1990
    624 Pages
    by Chapman & Hall

    624 Pages
    by Chapman & Hall

    Most medical researchers, whether clinical or non-clinical, receive some background in statistics as undergraduates. However, it is most often brief, a long time ago, and largely forgotten by the time it is needed. Furthermore, many introductory texts fall short of adequately explaining the underlying concepts of statistics, and often are divorced from the reality of conducting and assessing medical research. Practical Statistics for Medical Research is a problem-based text for medical researchers, medical students, and others in the medical arena who need to use statistics but have no specialized mathematics background.

  • Explores topics of particular importance in clinical practice, including diagnostic tests, method comparison, and observer agreement

  • Utilizes real data throughout and includes dozens of interesting data sets

  • Discusses the use and misuse of statistics, enabling readers to judge the appropriateness of methods and interpretations published in medical journals

  • Describes the main statistical methods for comparing data collected from different groups of individuals or for relating different observations from the same people

  • Provides many problems, all with detailed solutions

    The author draws on twenty years of experience as a consulting medical statistician to provide clear explanations to key statistical concepts, with a firm emphasis on practical aspects of designing and analyzing medical research. The text gives special attention to the presentation and interpretation of results and the many real problems that arise in medical research.
  • Statistics in Medical Research
    Types of Data
    Describing Data
    Theoretical Distributions
    Designing Research
    Using a Computer
    Preparing to Analyse Data
    Principles of Statistical Analysis
    Comparing Groups - Continous Data
    Comparing Groups - Categorical Data
    Relation between Two Continuous Variables
    Relations between Several Variables
    Analysis of Survival Times
    Some Common Problems in Medical Research
    Clinical Trials
    The Medical Literature
    Appendix A: Mathematical Notation
    Appendix B: Statistical Tables
    Answers to Exercises


    Douglas G. Altman

    "...valuable to medical students and statisticians entering the field..."
    -Medical Publications

    "Admirably clear presentations of concepts...our department is so impressed by its conceptual clarity that we plan to introduce it into our courses for physician scientists and graduate students of the health sciences."
    -Short Book Reviews of the International Statistical Institute

    "A winner...The text is comfortably fluent; it describes and explains without jargon or obscurities. The mathematic segments are clearly presented and should be accessible to any college graduate...[Altman] has provided health care professionals with a remarkably instructive, accessible, and useful guidebook...this is the most impressive monograph on medical statistics that I have read."
    -American Journal of Diseases of Children

    "…offers useful information to statisticians on the realistic limitations to be found in clinical research. There is much helpful background explanation, but where the book scores is that it uses real examples of real data, both in explaining how not to do it and in the carefully worked examples of the various techniques…In short, it is the best book on statistics from medical research I have come across, in terms of both completeness and intelligibility."
    -J.S.Lilleyman, Journal of Clinical Pathology

    "..this book is far from being a theoretical textbook; it is very readable, full of relevant practical advice with its feet firmly on the ground, and based on the author's considerable experience of medical research…I found much to applaud and very little to criticise."
    -S. Thompson, British Medical Journal, 1991

    "This is a rich resource for private study and for a teacher preparing material for undergraduates and postgraduates."
    -D. Ashby, Statistics in Medicine, 1991

    "…is refreshingly different from every other statistics book I have seen…is scientifically rigorous when discussing practical problems encountered in planning and analyzing biologic and clinical research…I recommend it enthusiastically to clinical investigators."
    -H.J.Motulsky, New England Journal of Medicine, 1991

    "This book fulfils its original intention of being a solid reference book for the medical researcher. I enjoyed reading it, and can thoroughly recommend it."
    -P.Stell, International Journal of Epidemiology

    "This book is, of course, now almost 10 years old. In general its age does not show…is intended to appeal to and to interest medical researchers with little knowledge of statistics. A review by a statistician cannot assess how well this is achieved, but it is indicative of success that this is the ninth reprint."
    -Nigel Stallard, University of Reading, Book Reviews