Medical Statistics at a Glance 3e
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Medical Statistics at a Glance is a concise and accessible introduction and revision aid for this complex subject. The self-contained chapters explain the underlying concepts of medical statistics and provide a guide to the most commonly used statistical procedures.

This new edition of Medical Statistics at a Glance:

  • Presents key facts accompanied by clear and informative tables and diagrams
  • Focuses on illustrative examples which show statistics in action, with an emphasis on the interpretation of computer data analysis rather than complex hand calculations
  • Includes extensive cross-referencing, a comprehensive glossary of terms and flow-charts to make it easier to choose appropriate tests
  • Now provides the learning objectives for each chapter
  • Includes a new chapter on Developing Prognostic Scores
  • Includes new or expanded material on study management, multi-centre studies, sequential trials, bias and different methods to remove confounding in observational studies, multiple comparisons, ROC curves and checking assumptions in a logistic regression analysis
  • The companion website at contains supplementary material including an extensive reference list and multiple choice questions (MCQs) with interactive answers for self-assessment.

Medical Statistics at a Glance will appeal to all medical students, junior doctors and researchers in biomedical and pharmaceutical disciplines.

Reviews of the previous editions

"The more familiar I have become with this book, the more I appreciate the clear presentation and unthreatening prose. It is now a valuable companion to my formal statistics course."
International Journal of Epidemiology

"I heartily recommend it, especially to first years, but it's equally appropriate for an intercalated BSc or Postgraduate research. If statistics give you headaches - buy it. If statistics are all you think about - buy it."
GKT Gazette

"...I unreservedly recommend this book to all medical students, especially those that dislike reading reams of text. This is one book that will not sit on your shelf collecting dust once you have graduated and will also function as a reference book."
4th Year Medical Student, Barts and the London Chronicle, Spring 2003


Aviva Petrie, Head of Biostatistics Unit and Senior Lecturer, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London; Honorary Lecturer in Medical Statistics, Medical Statistics Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Caroline Sabin, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London.


Preface 6

Learning objectives 8

Handling data

1 Types of data 14

2 Data entry 16

3 Error checking and outliers 18

4 Displaying data diagrammatically 20

5 Describing data: the ‘average’ 22

6 Describing data: the ‘spread’ 24

7 Theoretical distributions: the Normal distribution 26

8 Theoretical distributions: other distributions 28

9 Transformations 30

Sampling and estimation

10 Sampling and sampling distributions 32

11 Confidence intervals 34

Study design

12 Study design I 36

13 Study design II 38

14 Clinical trials 40

15 Cohort studies 44

16 Case–control studies 47

Hypothesis testing

17 Hypothesis testing 50

18 Errors in hypothesis testing 52

Basic techniques for analysing data

Numerical data

19 Numerical data: a single group 54

20 Numerical data: two related groups 57

21 Numerical data: two unrelated groups 60

22 Numerical data: more than two groups 63

Categorical data

23 Categorical data: a single proportion 66

24 Categorical data: two proportions 69

25 Categorical data: more than two categories 72

Regression and correlation

26 Correlation 75

27 The theory of linear regression 78

28 Performing a linear regression analysis 80

29 Multiple linear regression 84

30 Binary outcomes and logistic regression 88

31 Rates and Poisson regression 92

32 Generalized linear models 96

33 Explanatory variables in statistical models 98

Important considerations

34 Bias and confounding 102

35 Checking assumptions 106

36 Sample size calculations 108

37 Presenting results 112

Additional chapters

38 Diagnostic tools 115

39 Assessing agreement 118

40 Evidence-based medicine 122

41 Methods for clustered data 124

42 Regression methods for clustered data 127

43 Systematic reviews and meta-analysis 130

44 Survival analysis 133

45 Bayesian methods 136

46 Developing prognostic scores 138


A Statistical tables 142

B Altman’s nomogram for sample size calculations 149

C Typical computer output 150

D Glossary of terms 163

E Chapter numbers with relevant multiple - choice questions and structured questions from Medical Statistics at a Glance Workbook 174

Index 175


“The book will appeal to all medical students, junior doctors and researchers in biomedical and pharmaceutical disciplines.”  (Zentralblatt MATH)

"Overall, Medical Statistics at a Glance is very useful to students who are aiming to learn basic medical statistics concepts. Clinicians and statistics students can keep a copy of this book as a quick initial reference. This book is highly recommended as an excellent Medical Statistics guide." (Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics)

Great book. Very clear examples and well written. Lots of practical information to allow students to use medical statistics. (Anthony Murray, Faculty of Health & Science, University of Cumbria)