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.
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.
Table of Contents
Statistics in Medical Research
Types of Data
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
The Medical Literature
Appendix A: Mathematical Notation
Appendix B: Statistical Tables
Answers to Exercises
"...valuable to medical students and statisticians entering the field..."
"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