Interpreting the Medical Literature: Fifth Edition: Fifth Edition [NOOK Book]


Cut Through the Complexities of Medical Studies!


Enhance your understanding and utilization of the information in medical journals with Stephen Gehlbach's Interpreting the Medical Literature. Written in a clear and entertaining style, this popular guide cuts through the complex language of research ...

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Interpreting the Medical Literature: Fifth Edition: Fifth Edition

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Cut Through the Complexities of Medical Studies!


Enhance your understanding and utilization of the information in medical journals with Stephen Gehlbach's Interpreting the Medical Literature. Written in a clear and entertaining style, this popular guide cuts through the complex language of research studies and makes reading medical publications a rewarding and pleasurable experience.


  • Comprehend medical literature and evaluate the significance of any study
  • Read research reports more quickly and easily
  • Make sense of dense, scientific prose
  • Learn about study design, measurement, statistical analysis, and interpretation
  • Sharpen your analytical skills on current and classic medical studies
  • Reinforce your knowledge of concepts with examples from actual medical literature
  • New to the Fifth Edition: a chapter on how to interpret conflicting studies; expanded discussions of meta-analysis and developing consensus; updated figures and charts
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer: Kathryn Parker, MA, PhD (The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences)
Description: This book provides medical students and practicing clinicians with knowledge of the fundamentals of good research using existing medical research to illustrate the principles and practice of conducting medical research. This is the fifth edition of this book, but it is not evident when the previous edition was published.
Purpose: The purpose is to aid medical students and practicing clinicians in determining the value and merit of published research. Given that access to medical research of varying quality has grown considerably, the ability of young researchers to critically appraise published research is increasingly vital. Thus, books such as this are necessary to help clinicians translate evidence into optimal patient care.
Audience: According to the author, the book is written for medical students and practicing clinicians. However, the book would also be of value to other students from other health professions such as nursing, pharmacy, medical imaging, and therapeutics. The author is an MD with a master's degree in public health. Attaining these academic credentials requires the exposure to and practice of medical research. However, the extent of his experience conducting research is not stated; it would have been helpful to have had an "About the Author" paragraph that provided such information.
Features: The book provides a comprehensive look at many of the critical components of the research process. Study designs and tests for statistical significance are well covered. References are provided at the conclusion of each chapter allowing easy access to further information. Furthermore, case examples using existing research provide authentic illustrations of these concepts. The tables and figures support the text nicely. While the strengths of the book are numerous, there is some information that could have been included. Firstly, the importance of the rationale, purpose (and hence the research question) is not emphasized. Secondly, levels of evidence and effect size — two concepts common to current research and worthy of information on how to interpret them — are not covered. Finally, for the novice research student, it would have been beneficial to present a printout (from a commonly used software package such as SPSS) detailing the results of a statistical test and interpreting and discussing the meaning of each relevant metric.
Assessment: This is a comprehensive book for the novice researcher. It uses published research to convey and illustrate important concepts and practices in the field of medical research. The language is easy to understand and complex concepts and methodologies are presented in a clear and concise manner. The use of published research throughout is the book's greatest strength. It provides the reader the opportunity to contextualize complex information and understand how this knowledge can be applied.
Journal of American Medical Association
"Gehlbach's forte is his ability to dissect effectively major published articles dealing with common topics. He distills the original data, analyzes strengths and faults, and reduces the authors' message to universally understandable denominators...Interpreting the Medical Literature is about understanding the methodology and logic of scientific inquiry. It teaches interpretational skills needed for understanding medical articles. It has a long and deserving tradition of clarity in discussing research designs. Its inimitable merit is the inclusion and analysis of illustrative examples from major published articles. It is light on jargon, sparing in statistical complexity, and solid in emphasis of the fundamentals. Anyone with trepidations about the complexities of epidemiology and EBM must reach for this gentle book for an auspicious start."—Journal of the American Medical Association
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071781374
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
  • Publication date: 2/17/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 308
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Stephen H. Gehlbach, M.D., M.P.H., is currently Dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1. Tasting an Article Ch. 2. Study Design: General Considerations Ch. 3. Study Design: The Case-Control Approach Ch. 4. Study Design: The Cross-Sectional and Follow-up Approaches Ch. 5. Study Design: The Experimental Approach Ch. 6. Study Design: Variations Ch. 7. Making Measurements Ch. 8. Analysis: Statistical Significance Ch. 9. Analysis: Some Statistical Tests Ch. 10. Interpretation: Sensitivity, Specificity, and Predictive Value Ch. 11. Interpretation: Risk Ch. 12. Interpretation: Causes Ch. 13. Case Series, Editorials, and Reviews Ch. 14. A Final Word
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