A practical introduction to medical statistics



Key content

  • A few key principles are introduced that need to be understood before inferential statistical procedures can be applied or interpreted.
  • The ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ of a generalised univariate statistical analysis are outlined.
  • The greater value of interval estimation, over significance testing, is emphasised.
  • Distinction is made between statistical significance and clinical importance.
  • Examples of commonly used two-group analyses for independent samples are explained and discussed.

Learning objectives

  • To understand the principles underpinning the application of inferential statistical methods.
  • To be able to interpret and apply a few commonly used statistical procedures.
  • To identify when parametric and non-parametric tests are suitable to apply to data.
  • To distinguish between an odds ratio and a risk ratio.

Ethical issues

  • A study that is statistically flawed is ethically flawed.