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April 21, 1969

Fundamentals of Biostatistics

Author Affiliations

Columbia University New York

JAMA. 1969;208(3):538. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160030112031

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This book should be of considerable aid to medical investigators who need to understand the role of statistics in the solution of their problems. Professor Schor has had close contact with a wide variety of medical studies involving statistical concepts. He illustrates many flaws of statistical reasoning in medical problems somewhat in the philosophical style of Bradford Hill's Principles of Statistical Reasoning. There is, however, a great deal more formal statistical methodology in the book under review.

The author differentiates clearly between experimental data (the clinical trial) and observational data (the epidemiological investigation). This distinction is often not kept clearly in mind by many investigators since the statistical arithmetic is essentially identical for both types of data. The statistical methods presented are the standard ones: descriptive measures, sampling, statistical inference for one-sample and two-sample problems for means and proportions, correlation, a short section on chi-square and the analysis of variance,