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Statistical Analysis in Primary Care.
  1. Centre for Health Studies
  2. University of Durham, Durham, UK

    Statistics from

    Statistical Analysis in Primary Care. Edited by Nigel Mathers, Martin Williams, and Beverley Hancock. (Pp 113; £15.95.) Radcliffe Medical Press, 2000. ISBN 1-85775-387-9.***

    Statisticians who talk in everyday language are significantly hard to find. In this book, edited by a group known for their understanding of the problems of novices, the contributors have been held under fairly tight control to appeal to new researchers. The book nicely compliments their earlier one on developing research (see below).

    The strength of this volume lies in its explanation of concepts and I felt myself dipping into it quite successfully for the clarification of problems. The sections on using databases were especially welcome and helpful, although the one on EpiInfo is somewhat less so than the one on SPSS. Throughout the book the pace of explanations is well maintained with the use of practical examples and exercises and it was good to see a reference, albeit a short one, to the use of sampling techniques in qualitative research.

    Regrettably for a statistics book, especially one aimed at the novice, gremlins have crept in. The worked example of sample size for test of differences is confusing, with figures and table numbers that do not quite tally up. Presumably not everything always adds up. I suppose the real purpose of a book on statistics is to intimidate the reader into pathetic ignorance; on that basis this is somewhat less threatening, although I would not go so far as to say that it is positively friendly. It's worth getting though.

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