Research

How not to compare statistics

I’ve spent the last five years learning how to interpret research, I know it isn’t easy.  I didn’t always know this.  I used to think I could read the conclusions of a paper, check out a few things and either incorporate it

Research

Statistics Summer Wrap-Up

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for spending the summer learning how to read the statistics in research with me.  I hope you found the series helpful, and maybe it inspired you to read more research.  If so, I

Research

Qualitative Research

You may have been wondering why I had not discussed qualitative research in this series.  The un-glamorous answer is that while qualitative research helps to inform practice, it doesn’t actually use statistics as we think about them. Statistics lives in the world

Research

Meta-Analysis

Last time we talked about the unique contributions of a systematic review.  Today we will talk about how meta-analysis informs our practice. Remember, these are both techniques that synthesize existing data. This means just like a systematic review, a meta-analysis must be

Research

Systematic Review

For today’s post, you might want to open a second window at the Cochrane Collaboration Website so you can scroll through what is available while we talk. One thing I have been trying to communicate (over and over and over) is that

Research

Time to Event Techniques

Sometimes you want to understand the odds of an event that everyone in the group will not experience.  The best example in pregnancy and birth is the length of labor.  When you try to get an average length of labor you need

Research

Assessing Study Quality

We are nearly done with our discussion of statistics, so I wanted to take a day to discuss study quality. When researchers talk about the quality of a study they are considering the quality of the total package, not only the statistical

Research

Statistics and Causation

One of the main reasons we invest our time into research (whether performing the science or reading the reports) is to understand how to avoid problems. We want to know what we can do to improve chances of a good outcome and

Research

Randomized Controlled Trial

We talked about a random sample last week.  Today we are going to talk about randomized controlled trials. The use of the term randomized in this context does not refer to the sampling method.  Randomized controlled trials use convenience sampling, meaning they

Research

Sampling Methods

On Wednesday we talked about why sample size matters.  Today I want to focus on how the sampling method affects the data. Basically, there are two ways to obtain a sample.  One way is to randomly select members of the population, and