Clinical data analysis on a pocket calculator : Understanding the scientiﬁc methods of statistical reasoning and hypothesis testing
Cleophas, J. Ton
Zwinderman, H. Aeilko
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We as authors were, initially, pretty unsure, whether, in the current era of computer analyses, a work based on pocket calculator analyses of clinical data would be appreciated by medical and health professionals and students. However, within the ﬁrst two years of publication, over thirty thousand e-copies were sold. From readers’ comments we came to realize that statistical software programs had been experienced as black box programs producing lots of p-values, but little answers to scientiﬁc questions, and that many readers had not been happy with that situation. The pocket calculator analyses appeared to be, particularly, appreciated, because they enabled readers for the ﬁrst time to understand the scientiﬁc methods of statistical reasoning and hypothesis testing. So much so that it started something like a new dimension in their professional world. The reason for a rewrite was to give updated and upgraded versions of the forty chapters from the ﬁrst editions, including the valuable comments of readers. Like in the textbook complementary to the current work, entitled SPSS for Starters and 2nd Levelers (Springer Heidelberg 2015, from the same authors), an improved structure of the chapters was produced, including background, main purpose, scientiﬁc question, schematic overview of data ﬁles, and reference sections. In addition, for the analysis of more complex data, twenty novel chapters were written. We will show that, also here, a pocket calculator can be very helpful. For convenience the chapters have been reclassiﬁed according to the most basic difference in data characteristics: continuous outcome data (34 chapters) and binary outcome data (26 chapters). Both hypothesized and real data examples are used to explain the sixty pocket calculator methods described. The arithmetic is of a no more-than high-school level.