Statistics from Altmetric.com
By David Coggan. (Pp 109; £14.95.) BMJ Books, 2002. ISBN 0-7279-1609-2.
This book starts by describing how statistics are used to summarise data in numerical and graphical form. Particular topics included are different forms of data, measures of central tendency and dispersion, and the normal distribution. Further chapters deal with probability and how statistics can be used in interpreting clinical data and drawing conclusions. Topics described here are sensitivity, specificity, p values, confidence intervals, standard error, and statistical power. The final chapters deal with statistical modelling including linear regression and assessment of bias.
The text is clearly and concisely written with many worked examples and questions to explain the concepts. I would highly recommend the book to both qualified health professionals and students in training who want a basic understanding of statistics and how they can be used to interpret clinical papers. It will also be of value to those wanting an introduction to research methodology. The book is reasonably priced at £14.95.
The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.