ISBN 978-0-9808000-0-5
Paperback, 234x180mm
132pp; illustrated; glossary; index
RRP $55 + P&H


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Primer for Health Research:
Design and Basic Statistics

Ronald G. Hicks, PhD

Chance in statistics
Statistics is a tool used to formalise and standardise procedures for testing hypotheses this involves statistical inference. Statistical inference draws conclusions from a large number of events, introducing order from the evidence contained within the data.

Effective use of biostatistics
Biostatistics is a combination of physiology and statistics. Knowledge of both is an important ingredient in the planning and conducting of health research. After attending numerous professional conferences on health research, the overall conclusion drawn from the presentations was that of barely adequate experimental design. A well designed experiment developed at the very start is the key to success.

Success is in the details
Follies in experimental design, kinds of data collected and data not collected and a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-trousers attitude can totally destroy any project, large or small, with the loss of considerable time and effort. Moreover, people working on the project will be disheartened from attempting other projects. Success breeds success.

Practical and straightforward
"At last, an Australian introductory statistical text written specifically for health professionals working at grass roots level. Dr Ron Hicks has worked in the health statistics field, both in Australia and overseas for many years and has seen first hand the traps and pitfalls of well meaning health professionals trying to make sense of the avalanche of data collected in health today.

This text takes us from the rudimentary concepts of mean, median and mode to the application of numerous parametric and nonparametric tests and explains which ones to use and when to use them. The many examples given deal with common health related problems such as blood pressure, diabetes and wound healing, and we are able to work through the dilemma of whether to accept or reject data to ensure the validity of the study. We then move on to evaluation, how to predict patient outcomes using the data collected and finally how to manage multiple variables.

This statistical primer covers these and many other issues in a practical and straightforward manner and will be a valuable tool for health clinicians who are committed to improving outcomes for their patients and better forward planning decisions for their services."

– Ruth Burrell RN
Former Quality, Accreditation and Program Manager