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Populations and Risk

Last time we talked about the difference between incidence and prevalence.  Today, we will look at how we can use these descriptive measures to understand differences in risk. Remember from Monday that the population is the group of individuals you would like to learn about. As midwives, we are often interested in specific groups of [...]

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Understanding Data – the measure

We need to talk about what might be considered the “back end” of statistics. That is, how did the data come to be? Types of Observations Data is simply a collection of variables, grouped by observation.  In health care, the observation is usually a “case” or a “person”. Researchers make each observation in a variety [...]

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Learning to Read Carefully

I ran into an infographic titled A Breakdown of Birth in the U.S.A. I wanted to like it, but the information on the poster is misleading. It does make a great little demonstration of  how to learn to question what you read. If you haven’t opened the infographic yet, put it in a new window [...]

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Descriptive Statistics

Most of the research we are interested in as midwives is inferential – meaning we draw conclusions about a group of people based on the results.  However, descriptive statistics are still very helpful. Descriptive statistics help us organize and summarize information.  For example, the number of births attended by midwives is a descriptive statistic. We [...]

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Understanding Data – the variable

A big part of understanding the statistics in research is understanding what is behind the data. What the data actually is, and how you obtain the data determine the types of statistical tests you will use. If you have been reading research, you probably already have an idea about most of the terms we will [...]

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What is Statistics

When I first began to read original research papers, I would skim over the statistical part to get to the conclusions.  I understood statistics enough to tell if group A and B were different, and since the rest didn’t make sense to me I skipped it. I’m a little wiser now, and have a strong [...]

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Did you have a traumatic childbirth experience?

A Study out of the University of the Sunshine Coast is looking for parents, both men and women, over 18 years old who feel the birth experience with their child was traumatic. From the website: The volunteers will be invited to complete an online survey containing 121 questions which will take approximately 20 to 30 [...]

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May 26th, 2014 Research

The Uterus is NOT a Sterile Environment

No, researchers don’t have a way to test the uterus per se, but a group did find a way to test placentas. That’s right…a group of researchers went searching for microorganisms in placentas. They found some.  The study is showcased in a story at the New York Times. So what does this mean? We can’t [...]

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May 22nd, 2014 Research

The Birth Worker Survey

To prepare for our summer of statistics, I’ve put together a short survey for you – the readers.  It is a simple survey asking a few questions about your beliefs about childbirth and your birth work.  We will use the results to talk about research statistics so we can become better readers of research. So [...]

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A Fun New Project

I’m contemplating a new project for the summer.  I want to help you, my audience, become better consumers of research.  This isn’t a new idea, I have actually been thinking about it for over a year.  But the reality of being in a PhD program by day and mom by night is not really a [...]

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