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Statistics in clinical practice
  1. J Orchard

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    David Coggon. London: BMJ Books, 2003, £14.95, pp 109, softcover. ISBN 0727916092

    This is a concise and well written introduction to clinical statistics for those reviewers, students, and clinicians who wish to be able to better interpret the statistical side of research papers. It is a very light book which has the advantage of not intimidating those readers who are fearful of statistics. These are the readers who would derive the most benefit. It does not provide enough information for most postgraduate authors of papers who need more detail about how to choose and perform the actual statistical tests. Sections that could be expanded are those on assessing confounding and bias in papers, which is an important skill for reviewers and readers even if they don’t need to write their own papers. Study examples and questions are included for most chapters, with an exception being the small section in the final chapter on bias, where a practical example of a biased study would have been particularly useful. I can recommend this book to anyone who should have an interest in statistics but who has previously avoided the topic out of fear. If you already have a comprehensive textbook on statistics that you have actually read, then you are unlikely to derive much benefit. That is unless you want a read to brush up on statistics on an airline flight and the other book would tip your baggage over the weight limit.

    Evidence basis14/20