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Navigating research methods: basic concepts in biostatistics and epidemiology 

Navigating research methods: basic concepts in biostatistics and epidemiology
Chapter:
Navigating research methods: basic concepts in biostatistics and epidemiology
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199608478.003.0002
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date: 18 December 2018

This chapter provides an overview of the basic concepts in biostatistics and epidemiology. Section 1: Basic concepts in biostatistics The concepts in biostatistics include: 1. descriptive statistical methods (which comprise of frequency distribution, distribution shapes, and measures of central tendency and dispersion); and 2. inferential statistics which is applied to make inferences about a population from the sample data. Non-probability and probability sampling methods are outlined. This section provides simple explanation of the complex concepts of significance tests and confidence intervals and their corresponding interpretation. Correlation and regression methods used to describe the association between two quantitative variables are also explained. This section also provides an overview of when to use which statistical test given the type of data and the nature of the research question. Section 2: Basic concepts in epidemiology This section begins with the definitions of normality. Next, the interpretation of diagnostic tests and clinical prediction are explained and the definitions of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value are provided. The relationship between these four constructs is discussed. The application of this concepts in the treatment and prevention is discussed.

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