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From The CriticsReviewer: Faith G. Davis, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This is an introductory primer of medical statistics and the use of PC-based statistical packages for laboratory-based applications. This second edition (the first was in 1990) was extended to include survival analysis, power estimation, notes on computer packages, and advice on writing statistical analysis sections of manuscripts.
Purpose: The authors attempt (1) to show how personal computers can be used to facilitate the analysis of data, (2) to explain the rational basis of widely applicable statistical methods, and (3) to summarize the limitations of various statistical procedures. This book is quite successful with respect to the second and third of these objectives, but limited with respect to the first.
Audience: Although this book is targeted toward workers in pathology laboratories, it is also applicable to a broader biological science audience.
Features: The focus is on observational studies as opposed to clinical trials. It includes a readable discussion on the use and limitations of fundamental statistical tests and provides examples of relevant procedures and printouts.
Assessment: This book covers basic medical statistics in a nontechnical fashion. However, the statistical packages included in the examples are limited primarily to Statgraphics and Minitab. The link to PCs is not consistent across chapters. For example, chapter 2 contains a nice discussion of alternatives for summarizing data, but the graphs do not link in any way to specific statistical packages. In chapter 7, although the discussion relevant to statistical packages is placed under a subheading, all of the examples do relate directly to specific statistical packages. A matrix showing which statistical procedures are available on specific PC-based software packages may make this more comprehensive. This is a useful primer for medical workers with access to Minitab and Statgraphics.