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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James C. Torner, PhD, MS (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This book presents the challenging topics of a traditional introductory biostatistics courses in an approachable manner to help students understand the quantification of health measures and their analysis. The access to the publisher's website is a plus.
Purpose: Designed to introduce analytical concepts and framework, the book exposes students to calculations and analytical problems. Workbooks available through the website use common software to facilitate learning.
Audience: This book is suitable for students beginning in public health. The material is presented at the applied level so undergraduate and graduate students in public health should be able to handle the book with basic algebra. Biostatistics students may not find the statistical depth they need. The written description of methods provides a suitable balance to the analytical methods.
Features: Basic study designs and measures of incidence and prevalence lay the foundation for data collection and description. The probability chapter covers basic concepts and does not put the material in context of application. The analysis chapters describe confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. The topics of power and sample size, multivariable methods, nonparametric testing, and survival analysis are not usually presented in beginning courses.
Assessment: The major highlights of this book are its readability and linkage of concepts, methods, and examples. Examples draw on a few studies such as the Framingham Heart Study to illustrate methods. There are many study guides and introductory biostatistics and epidemiology books, this one provides added value with its format, topics, and linkage to the publisher site with added materials such as workbooks, flashcards, and videos. This book should provide students with the basic competency they need.