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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James C. Torner, PhD, MS (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This book provides a start to finish introduction to clinical research focusing on design and analysis. Other issues such as data management, aspects of bias, and publication complete the process. This book does not include statistical methods but addresses use of statistics to answer questions depending upon the type of data.
Purpose: The author's goal is to acquaint clinicians with clinical research methods. As a basic overview, it provides clinicians with the understanding of what is needed to bring an observation to publication. In general, the book fulfills the objective of increasing awareness of the clinical research process.
Audience: The book is addressed to clinicians who would like to understand the development and implementation of collecting and analyzing research data. It could also be used by other healthcare practitioners and public health workers to understand how clinical studies are designed and analyzed.
Features: The first of the book's four sections focuses on design, the next on data management, the next on statistics, and the last on dissemination through publication. The best aspect of the book is it provides the reader with the paradigm of conducting and understanding research methods. It uses a framework of examples and diagrams that illustrate the concept and methods. There are general references to other books, but specific references for individual topics are sparse.
Assessment: This book provides a starting point for clinicians, particularly those who might not be able to take a formal course in clinical research. It would be a good companion text for design or seminar type courses. It provides information to the clinician before consulting with an epidemiologist and biostatistician about what is expected and can be done in conducting research. There are more complete books and books with more analytical methods and questions, but this one provides a beginning for the clinician.