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Letting others read your drafts

When your job is basically to write, you have to let other people read what you write. This is the worst, and best, part of writing.  This week I had to submit my draft dissertation proposal to two professors and the entire grant mock review committee. I have feedback from the two professors, and I […]

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Understanding Fear of Childbirth

A study published in the June edition of Acta obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica explored fear of childbirth through maternal surveys.  While the study question was about the effect of counseling for fear of childbirth, several interesting things are revealed in the descriptive statistics (the part of the study where the researchers tell you about the […]

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May 18th, 2015 Research

Be a Research Subject

Here is an opportunity for you to participate in research that helps us understand what it is like to become a mother.  Researchers at the University of Michigan are investigating the pregnancy-related experiences that are unique to sexual minorities to help minimize the effect of these stressors on prenatal and postnatal outcomes. If you are […]

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May 13th, 2015 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 or ignore it.  The problem was, just like all humans, my trust in […]

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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 have a few resources you might like to know about. The Birthing Naturally […]

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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 of numbers, and is used in research that is called quantitative — basically […]

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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 performed with rigor.  A very specific question should be asked, and inclusion and […]

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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 each study is only one small piece of the puzzle researchers use to […]

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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 to decide how to handle the labors that end in a cesarean birth. […]

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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 significance of the findings. In fact, the quality of the study will affect […]

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