Friday, June 21, 2019

The Essentials of Biostatistics for Physicians, Nurses, and Clinicians

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I have taught biostatistics in the health sciences and published a book in 2003 with Wiley on that topic. That book is a textbook for upper - level undergraduates and graduate students in the health science departments at universities. Since coming to the Lankenau Institute 17 months ago, I was tasked to prepare a course in biostatistics for nurses and physicians (particularly the hospital residents and fellows that do medical research). I quickly learned that although the material in my book was relevant, it contained too much material and was not in a digestible form for them. I prepared a six - lecture course (1 hour each) for physicians, and a two - lecture course for the nurses. To prevent boredom, I introduced some funny but educational cartoon slides. The course currently exists and has been refined as PowerPoint presentations and has been moderately successful.

The physicians and nurses have a busy schedule, and what they need is a concise and clearly explained set of lectures that cover only the areas of statistics that are essential to know about in medical research. This means topics that are not taught in traditional introductory statistics courses. So Kaplan – Meier curves, repeated measures analysis of variance, hazard ratios, contingency tables, logrank tests, bioequivalence, cross - over designs, noninferiority, selection bias, and group sequential methods are all included, but they are introduced on a conceptual level without the need for theory. It is when and why these methods work that they need to know, and not a detailed account of how they work mathematically. I feel that it would be appropriate to have a textbook for such a course that can be taught in - house at research centers or online courses. The book is intended to be approximately 160 pages along with suitable references.

1. The What, Why, and How of Biostatistics in Medical Research
2. Sampling from Populations
3. Graphics and Summary Statistics
4. Normal Distribution and Related Properties
5. Estimating Means and Proportions
6. Hypothesis Testing
7. Correlation, Regression, and Logistic Regression
8. Contingency Tables
9. Nonparametric Methods
10. Survival Analysis
Solutions to Selected Exercises
Appendix: Statistical Tables
Author Index
Subject Index

Author Details
"Michael R. Chernick"
Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
Wynnewood, PA

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