This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of biostatistics. There is no need to have experience with biostatistics (or any statistical software package); the material is aimed at anyone who would like to be able to read and interpret the biostatistical content in the medical and public health literature.
This short course will run for four days, 9am-5pm each day. Both lectures and small group tutorials will be used to facilitate learning and provide opportunities to explore specific topics in more detail.
- Introduction to sampling distributions, hypothesis tests and estimation.
- Analysis of normal data, including t-tests and linear regression.
- Analysis of binary data, including 2x2 tables.
- Mantel-Haenszel methods and logistic regression.
- Analysis of count data, including comparing rates between groups.
- Poisson regression and survival analysis.
Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on understanding the reasons why the techniques are appropriate, underlying assumptions and interpretation of results, rather than the mechanics of calculation. Each topic will draw upon one or two papers from the literature. The recommended text is Essential Medical Statistics (2e, 2003) by Kirkwood & Sterne, but it is not necessary that students have access to a copy for this course.