# Statistics Flashcards

statistics allow professionals

to make well informed decisions

- understanding how accurate and valid data is

data should always be considered in

context

e. g. he later had a blood test which gave him a reading of 113ml of alcohol in 100ml of blood- the limit is 80’

- this doesn’t even make sense

how can stations give advice on efficient data collection?

is it representative?

what can we actually measure? for how long for? outcome? long short?

stages of statistical investigation

1) understand the problem and formulate in statistical terms

2) plan the investigation and collect the data

3) assess the structure and quality of the data

(scrutinising the data for errors, outliers and missing obs)

4) continue the initial examination of the data to describe the data

(use of summary stats, graphs and tables)

5) select and carry out appropriate statistical analysis of the data

6) compare findings with any previous results and acquire further data if necessary

7) interpret and communicate results

the first step in any medical stat investigation should be

- getting a clear understanding of clinical/ biological background to the situation under study
- clarify objectives
- formulate the problem in statistical terms

what can be a statisticians most valuable contribution

the investigator explaining why they wish to do the experiment

types of error

type I, II, III

Type I error

- finding a diff when there is none

- want to avoid this- why p values and cut off values exist

Type II

- failure to find a cure difference
- concluding the two treatment arms are the same
- often due to underpowered studies

Type III

conclusion are not supported by the data presented

- getting the right answer for the wrong question

when visiting the GP immediate question asked are

- When visiting the GP, the immediate question most patients ask are:
- What is wrong with me (diagnosis)?
- How should it be treated (treatment effectiveness)
- What does the future hold? (prognosis)
- With more reflection, patients may ask further questions
- Why me?

o Role of genes, environment, lifestyle etc - Could it have been prevented

these medical questions can be answered using

stats

what is wrong with me

- Consider a women who goes to see a doctor about a lump on her breast, worried it may be cancer
- In fact, she should be cautiously positive because past data tells us that 9/10 breast lumps are not cancers
- We can express our diagnostic uncertainty using conditional probabilities
- Prob (not breast cancer) lump= 0.9
- Prob (breast cancer) lump= 0.1 (10% chance)
- There is only a small chance the lump is cancerous, but breast cancer is serious so the doctor will organise further tests

How should it be treated?

- There are three main ways to deal with cancer:
- Surgery
- Radiotherapy
- Chemotherapy
- Most radiotherapy is given using photon particles but researchers had the idea that neutron particles, which are bigger and heavier, might be better for some cancers
- How could a fair test be conducted?

how could a fair test be conducted

randomised control trial of neutron therapy

explain how a randomised control trial of neutron therapy would work

1) cancer patients needing radiotherapy randomised to either treatment with photon or neutron theory

2) this randomisation prevents bias in who receives treatment and makes characteristic in the samples equally distributed, or there due to chance

3) patients followed up to see how long they lived

4) using survival curves- looking at time for event to happen i.e. ddeath

first clinical trial

- Scurvy affected sailors deprived of fresh food
- James Lind of the Royal Navy 1747
- Wrong theory: putrefaction preventable by acids
- 23 scorbutic sailors divided into 6 groups
- same diet plus:
- a quart of cider
- 25 drops of elixir vitrio
- 6 spoonful’s of vinegar
- half a pint of seawater
- two oranges and a lemon
- a spicy paste plus a drink of barley
- provided evidence for the role of vit C in treating scurvy