#
Statistics for the Health Sciences
A Non-Mathematical Introduction

- Christine Dancey - University of East London, UK
- John Reidy - Sheffield Hallam University, UK
- Richard Rowe - University of Sheffield, UK

**Statistics for the Health Sciences** is a highly readable and accessible textbook on understanding statistics for the health sciences, both conceptually and via the SPSS programme. The authors give clear explanations of the concepts underlying statistical analyses and descriptions of how these analyses are applied in health science research without complex maths formulae.

The textbook takes students from the basics of research design, hypothesis testing and descriptive statistical techniques through to more advanced inferential statistical tests that health science students are likely to encounter. The strengths and weaknesses of different techniques are critically appraised throughout, and the authors emphasise how they may be used both in research and to inform best practice care in health settings.

Exercises and tips throughout the book allow students to practice using SPSS. The companion website provides further practical experience of conducting statistical analyses. Features include:

• multiple choice questions for both student and lecturer use

• full Powerpoint slides for lecturers

• practical exercises using SPSS

• additional practical exercises using SAS and R

This is an essential textbook for students studying beginner and intermediate level statistics across the health sciences.

*X*2 Goodness of Fit Test

*X*2 Goodness of Fit Test Using SPSS

Well-written textbook about statistics for the Health Sciences. The Statistical Methods presented in this book are highly relevant even for other academic disciplines. The Chapters about Epidemiology, Interventions and Survival analysis are of particular interest.

**Department of Health, Nutrition and Management, Oslo and Akershus Universitey College**

Useful for analysis guidance using SPSS or just for handy statistical pointers in general.

**Research Department, European School of Osteopathy**

I really like this book which is easy to read and links statistics to the research process... demystifying along the way. I have recommended it to colleagues & will certainly guide students to this book.

**School of Health, Community and Education Studies, Northumbria University**

Statistics can terrify those who aren't confident with numbers; and this guide should help even the most nervous of students to grasp essential concepts and practice. The book is well-designed, clearly written and accessible. It is useful for tutors who also want to refresh their understanding of statistics.

**Social and Community Studies, Coventry University**

A very good text to aid the students with data analysis.

**Health , North Lindsey College**

The following review regards the book “Statistics for the health sciences a non-mathematical introduction” by Christine P. Dancey, John G. Reidy and Richard Rowe.

There are many textbooks about statistics. The first question we should answer is whether all these books are necessary or not. To my point of view the answer is YES and I will explain why.

Statistic, as many others disciplines, can be approached in several ways and for different “population”. There are texts for beginners, who are commonly afraid of statistic, for students who have average knowledge of the discipline and for advanced ones. In addition some books are focus on particular statistical techniques which are used for ad hoc analysis and are not discussed in essential books. Crossing all the above conditions it would produce a multi dimensions table, with several boxes, each of these “designed” for specific subjects with particular areas of interest, levels of knowledge, approach to the problems, use of tools.

The aim of all the textbooks remain common: to explain the concepts, to support the decision of the readers and to facilitate the interpretation of the results. In other words, making a different example, it is like driving a car: a driver does not need to know how the motor works to drive the car from a place to another. He needs to have a clear idea of the rules of the street, to avoid accident, to know the road to reach the destination, to use the acceleration and the braking pedal etc. Once the driver knows how to drive and the general rules, he does not need to learn it again when he changes the car.

For beginners, especially for those who approach statistic for the first time, or for those who are not very confident with math, it is mainly important to explain the idea of the analysis, clarifying the meaning of an approach instead of another, and only secondly, if it is necessary, to explain the formula which “sustain” the idea. The most important thing is to maintain a clear idea of what to do and how to do. In addition it is useful to provide examples after the notions/concepts are explained.

Statistics for the health sciences a non-mathematical introduction is a book which beginners and intermediate students could find valuable for several reasons:

1) The text maintains what it says in the title “Statistics for the health sciences a non-mathematical introduction”. Beginners will not be afraid of math, in fact, formula are avoided. Readers will be focus on the ideas and on what to do in conducting a correct analysis.

2) The book introduces statistical terms and concepts using common words; moreover it explains how to conduct the analysis, step by step, with the support of pictures taken during the use of SPSS. This statistical software is getting very used not only by professional statistician but also by students who want to conduct some analysis. The program is easy to use because of the possibility to have menu and windows in the selection of the data analysis. The examples presented in the book guide the reader in experiencing, by hand, what it is said in the text, in an efficient way. The reader gets skilled in conducting analysis and becomes more confident with statistic.

3) The book provides also a short introduction of two statistical packages: R and SAS. R is a free statistical software which is getting quite common, especially in those people who are confident with statistic. The attempt of presenting it to beginners could stimulate the interest in those who would like to make a further step in statistic. SAS is a very famous and long traditional statistical software which is normally used by skilled statistician.

4) In the book it is refereed also to external references for specific aspects which are not included in the book but may be useful for those readers who want to experiment other statistical tools.

5) All the chapters have a nice but short overview that makes the readers more confident of what it is expected to find in the following pages. This helps the reader to be more confident in what to focus in reading the chapter.

6) There are many examples taken from the literature. This aspect will prove the readers how useful is statistic in the real world. In addition, the reader will have the possibility to identify, in the examples, similarities with its studies/analysis and to repeat them following the example of the book.

7) In the book there are exercises which can help the student to revise the materials. The online resources, for lecturers and students, expand the concepts treated in the text and provide other useful material for a better understanding.

8) The glossary provides an easy access to definition that sometime can be obscure or cause uncertainly. Readers could benefit from it when they need to revise the definition of a concept, for example when they read a paper and statistical terms are presented.

There are some suggestions which could be useful for improving the book in future revisions:

1) The authors did not mention other statistical programs which are quite common such as Stata and Epinfo. The first one has a large community of users, there are many online resources and textbooks which describe analysis and approach how to use the program. Epiinfo, the latest version is the 7th, can handle basic statistical techniques but has the advantage to be free and it is easy to use. It could be useful to introduce both these programs in the chapter where there Authors presented R and SAS.

2) The authors could introduce how to conduct the analysis using other software, but with the same examples. This would increase the possibility to find readers who could be interested in the book, but have experience with other statistical package.

3) The authors could introduce some summary tables or diagrams for the choice of a technique instead of another. They could draw guided diagrams in which the directions are based on the answers expected by the readers.

Dr. Gabriele Messina

Research Professor of Public Health

University of Siena

**Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena**

I really liked this text. I have used a lot of statistics textbooks but this one stands out as being very well designed. Firstly it is health based which suits my groups of students, covering things like testing interventions and survival analysis. Secondly it is not overly focussed on how to do stuff in SPSS or Excel as many texts are. Rather it explains the statistics and why different approaches are used and only afterwards shows students how to use SPSS to do the analysis. The screenshots and explanations for SPSS are very clear, particularly those that explain the complex output that SPSS generates and which many students find intimidating. The exercises are good - not too long or over complex and use of self study test questions at the end of each chapter will be helpful for students. It is quite detailed so will take students a long way, although some might be put off by that. Overall a great addition that I will be using in my Reserach Methods modules.

**Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University**

A clearly presented text with lots of relevant examples used to illustrate the statistical methods

**Faculty of Sport Media and Management, College of St Mark and St John**

This is an excellent text which is clear in its approach. The screen shots of SPSS guide the student through the examples and the simplistic blue and grey colour scheme does not distract the reader, but rather makes the information clear and accessible.

**Sport & Exercise Science & Sports Ther, Hertfordshire University**