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From The CriticsReviewer: Ibrahim Heiba, MD, MPH (West Virginia University)
Description: The book is built on a question and answer format with the purpose of providing review material to help readers interpret research findings in medical literature. One prerequisite would be a course in introduction to medical statistics. The author recommends his Introduction to Medical Statistics (Oxford University Press, 2000) as a companion to this book. He notes questions that are above undergraduate level or that are of increased difficulty.
Purpose: The author's objective is to provide a critical understanding of study design, research findings, and interpretation of studies reported in medical literature. With the advance and ease of using statistical computer software, various statistical methods are currently used in medical literature. This book provides a large number of examples of published studies, which the author uses to demonstrate various statistical concepts in a systematic way.
Audience: This book is intended to reach medical students, physicians, nurses, and medical researchers in order to help them understand medical literature. Although the author succeeds in reaching his audience most of the time, some sections are above the level of these audiences, particularly the chapters on methods based on rank orders, clinical measurement, and multifactorial methods.
Features: Snapshot coverage of various statistical issues is provided including descriptive statistics, distribution, probability, study designs, and various types of statistical analysis. The sections that cover descriptive statistics of summarizing and presenting data and the section on normal distribution and estimation are the most useful for the targeted audience. These sections are clearly written and easy to follow. Readers should have an appreciation of various approaches used to present data and an understanding of common reported findings like standard deviation, standard error, mean, and confidence intervals. The section about multifactorial methods will likely be confusing for the intended readers.
Assessment: This well-written book is unique in providing a critique of published medical literature. It has an easy to follow question-and-answer format.