To Your Health: How to Understand What Research Tells Us about Risk

To Your Health: How to Understand What Research Tells Us about Risk

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Oxford University Press, USA


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To Your Health: How to Understand What Research Tells Us about Risk

The public is bombarded daily with reports about risk factors, many conflicting with each other, others accepted as "scientific truth" for awhile, then scientifically disproved, yet others questionable that later prove to be true. Physicians are faced with trying to make sense of those conflicting or questionable results in the scientific literature in order to guide their patients to the best possible decisions. The situation is not much easier for scientists who may waste years of their productive life, and considerable resources, basing their research efforts on what prove to be misleading earlier research findings. What this book does is to present, in non "academese" and with many examples from the general media and scientific journals, a guide to a critical reading of research reports, which, in turn, serves as a guide to researchers as to which approaches are likely to be regarded with raised eyebrows, and what they need to do to generate results that will be taken seriously. This stimulating and helpful book was written for informed consumers and physicians as well as for scientists evaluating the risk research literature or contemplating projects on risk research.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195178708
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 03/25/2005
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Stanford University

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Did We Write This Book?
Part I
The Basics of Risk
1. What is Risk?
2. What is a Risk Factor?
3. Are all Risk Factors Equal? Types of Risk Factors
4. How Do We Know if Something Is an Important Risk Factor? Statistical and Clinical Significance
5. How Do Risk Factors Work Together? Moderators, Mediators, and Other "Inter-actions"
Part II
How to Recognize Good and Bad Research
6. Who Was in the Study and Why Does that Matter? Sampling
7. What Is the Difference Between a Risk Factor and a Cause? Research Design
8. What Else Should We Pay Attention To? Reliability and Validity of Measurements and Diagnoses
Part III
Cutting-Edge Approaches
9. How Strong is the Risk Factor? Potency
10. How Do We Do a Moderator-Mediator Analysis?
11. How Do We Use Multiple Risk Factors? ROC Tree Methods
Part IV
Where Do We Go From Here?
12. Where Are We Now?
13. Making the Best of Good Studies
14. Hope for the Future
Appendix: Mathematical Demonstrations

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