Statistics for Health Care Professionals is an accessible guide to understanding statistics within health care practice. Focusing on quantitative approaches to investigating problems, the book introduces the basic rules and principles of statistics. Challenging the notion that statistics are often incomprehensible and complex to use, the authors begin by presenting a `how to' section explaining how specific statistical tests can be performed. They also help readers to understand the language of statistics, which is often a stumbling block for those coming to the subject for the first time. The reader is taught how to calculate statistics by hand as well as being introduced to computer packages to make life easier, and then how to analyse these results. As the results of health care research are so integral to decision-making and developing new practice within the profession, the book encourages the reader to think critically about data analysis and research design, and how these can impact upon evidence based practice. This critical stance is also crucial in the assessment of the many reports and documents issued within the health industry. Statistics for Health Care Professionals includes practical examples of statistical techniques throughout, and the exercises within and at the end of each chapter help readers to learn and to develop proficiency. There is also a glossary at the end of the book for quick and easy referencing. This book is essential reading for those coming to statistics for the first time within a health care setting.

The Statistical Approach: When should it be Applied?

Areas of learning covered in this chapter

  • What are the major concepts in statistical analysis?
  • What types of studies use statistical analyses?
  • Where do statistics fit within the research framework?

In the first chapter we discussed how an understanding of statistics is essential if professionals are to engage with the development of professional knowledge and practice. But what are statistics? Why use the ...

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