Practical Statistics for Medical Research (Chapman & Hall/CRC Texts in Statistical Science) Hardcover – 22 Nov 1990
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..".valuable to medical students and statisticians entering the field..." -Medical Publications _ "Admirably clear presentations of concepts...our department is so impressed by its conceptual clarity that we plan to introduce it into our courses for physician scientists and graduate students of the health sciences." -Short Book Reviews of the International Statistical Institute "A winner...The text is comfortably fluent; it describes and explains without jargon or obscurities. The mathematic segments are clearly presented and should be accessible to any college graduate...[Altman] has provided health care professionals with a remarkably instructive, accessible, and useful guidebook...this is the most impressive monograph on medical statistics that I have read." -American Journal of Diseases of Children "offers useful information to statisticians on the realistic limitations to be found in clinical research. There is much helpful background explanation, but where the book scores is that it uses real examples of real data, both in explaining how not to do it and in the carefully worked examples of the various techniquesIn short, it is the best book on statistics from medical research I have come across, in terms of both completeness and intelligibility." -J.S.Lilleyman, Journal of Clinical Pathology .."this book is far from being a theoretical textbook; it is very readable, full of relevant practical advice with its feet firmly on the ground, and based on the author's considerable experience of medical researchI found much to applaud and very little to criticise." -S. Thompson, British Medical Journal, 1991 "This is a rich resource for private study and for a teacher preparing materialfor undergraduates and postgraduates." -D. Ashby, Statistics in Medicine, 1991 "is refreshingly different from every other statistics book I have seenis scientifically rigorous when discussing practical problems encountered in planning and analyzing biologic and clinical researchI recommend it enthusiastically to clinical investigators." -H.J.Motulsky, New England Journal of Medicine, 1991 "This book fulfils its original intention of being a solid reference book for the medical researcher. I enjoyed reading it, and can thoroughly recommend it." -P.Stell, International Journal of Epidemiology "This book is, of course, now almost 10 years old. In general its age does not showis intended to appeal to and to interest medical researchers with little knowledge of statistics. A review by a statistician cannot assess how well this is achieved, but it is indicative of success that this is the ninth reprint." --Nigel Stallard, University of Reading, Book Reviews
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For complete beginners, I would have to recommend Primer Of Biostatistics by Stanton A Glantz. By using rather zany examples from the planet Mars, the reader does not get bogged down in all the medical terminology, unlike the examples in Altman. And it is a book you can sit down anywhere (on the bus or tube) and continue where you left off.
To summarise: If you are a medical student who needs to pass a test in medical statistics, go for Glantz. If you are starting some research and have no knowledge of medical statistics, go for Glantz. If your budget allows, get Altman for reference (otherwise borrow it from your library, or someone who gave up trying to read it).
It is actually easier to read than some of the other reviewers suggested. It is a little old-fashioned in its language (but what's wrong with that? I didn't want a book written by a teenager!!). The examples for the tests are enormously helpful and generally make the point succinctly.
It is reasonably detailed and comprehensive, but I do think one needs this kind of detail for understanding stats. I don't think there is much I would cut out of this book.
Overall I found it a good reference but it's actually pretty easy to read sequentially to try to understand the subject before undertaking analysis of ones own.
I also bought Primer of Biostatistics (Glantz) as recommended by one of the other reviewers but personally I haven't found that book so useful as Altman.
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