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May 1974

Basic Medical Statistics.

Author Affiliations



By Anita K. Bahn, ScD, MD. Price, $9.75. Pp 260. Grune & Stratton, Inc, 111 Fifth Ave, New York 10003, 1972.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(5):874. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320170150026

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Statistics need not be awesome! This is the author's first sentence; she has set out to provide a semiprogrammed self-learning and testing text in order to "guarantee" that the least quantitatively inclined student of medicine will be able to understand statistical statements in the current medical literature and to conduct simple statistical tests.

She has done a superb job of implementing these objectives. The mix of topics is excellent. Considered, in addition to the usual subjects of elementary statistics, are "important" vs "statistically significant" differences, the log-transform, use of cumulative probability paper, difference between precision and accuracy, biassay, nonparametric tests, difference between type I and type II errors, and the correct statistical approach to estimating size of sample needed—topics of importance that are ignored in many texts on medical statistics. I would like to have also seen a separate chapter on the clinical trial and discussions of life table survival

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