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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James C. Torner, MS, PhD (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This book on the structure, requirements, and use of statistical methods in healthcare research details the essentials needed for data acquisition and analysis, from description to complex interrelationships between variables. It uses SPSS as a tool for performing analysis and demonstrating methods. The previous edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide background and details on developing a research question, collecting data, describing data, and analyzing associations between variables. The book covers a broad set of topics that researchers need to consider in producing analysis suitable for reporting or publication, describing the methods in an accessible and useful format.
Audience: It is written at a level appropriate for a variety of researchers and practitioners. Chapters present the fundamentals, assumptions, specific methods, examples, and samples of SPSS output. Most students and practitioners should be able to understand the book without significant preparation or comprehension of statistics. This edition is based on the past version, but has been enhanced. The authors have experience in public health education and have recruited a credible supporting group of contributors.
Features: The three sections of the book cover obtaining and understanding data, analysis of data, and model building and presenting data. It has a logical flow from the proposal and research question to describing, analyzing, and modeling data and concludes with chapter on shaping and publishing. The examples help understanding, and plenty of questions assist and test readers' grasp of the concepts. The tables are useful for demonstrating methods and graphs facilitate understanding. Readers should be a user of SPSS to take full advantage of what this book offers. The book also includes additional online features.
Assessment: Although similar to other introductory statistical methods books, this one has chapters on regression methods, factor analysis, path analysis, and structural equation methods that go beyond most of them. This can provide a useful educational resource for beginning students, particularly those who use SPSS.