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Understanding Clinical Papers, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-09130-2
244 pages
June 2006
Understanding Clinical Papers, 2nd Edition (0470091304) cover image
Now in its Second Edition, this book helps to unravel the process of evidence-based practice, which requires clinicians to evaluate and collate information from the journals they read. Understanding Clinical Papers, Second Edition uses actual papers to illustrate how to understand and evaluate published research, but goes beyond this to provide an explanation of a range of important research-related topics.

Understanding Clinical Papers, Second Edition:

  • Covers everything necessary to understand a clinical research paper
  • Examples are illustrated and based uniquely on tables, abstracts and exerts from published clinical research papers
  • Amazingly clear, lively, accessible style
  • The new edition has been markedly improved and extended, containing, for example, new material on measurement scales, systematic reviews, writing a paper, statistics software and critical appraisal

“What strikes the reader... straight away is clarity… promises to become a recommended text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses." JOURNAL OF TROPICAL PEDIATRICS

“The writing style is amazingly clear and does not require formal course work in biostatistics or epidemiology…We strongly recommend it for beginners and for easy entry into a complex domain and to experts who we think will enjoy it and who will find it useful as they teach, advise and help others.” QUALITY IN HEALTH CARE 

“What makes this book unique is that each point presented is illustrated with excerpts from actual papers, often three or four per chapter... this is a very effective teaching device." JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

“This book should be an essential addition to the personal libraries of all health care workers who need to use articles in journals. In these days of evidence-based medicine, this should apply to all physicians, nurses and other health professionals.” ONCOLOGY

Understanding Clinical Papers, Second Edition is an invaluable resource for everyone involved directly or indirectly in health care – an ultimate guide for those who read clinical literature.

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Preface to the First Edition.

Preface to the Second Edition.

Acknowledgements.

PART I: SETTING THE SCENE: WHO DID WHAT, AND WHY.

1. Some Preliminaries.

2. The Abstract and Introduction.

3. The Objectives.

PART II: DESIGN MATTERS: WHAT TYPE OF STUDY ARE YOU READING ABOUT?

4. Descriptive Studies.

5. Analytic Studies.

6. Intervention Studies.

PART III: THE CAST: FINDING OUT ABOUT THE SUBJECTS OF THE RESEARCH.

7. The Research Setting.

8. Populations and Samples.

9. Identifying and Defining Cases.

10. Controls and Comparisons.

PART IV: ESTABLISHING THE FACTS: STARTING WITH BASIC OBSERVATIONS.

11. Identifying the Characteristics of Data.

12. Summarizing the Characteristics of Data.

13. Measuring the Characteristics of Subjects.

14. Measuring the Characteristics of Measures.

15. Measurement Scales.

PART V ESTABLISHING MORE OF THE FACTS: SOME COMMON WAYS OF DESCRIBING RESULTS.

16. Fractions, Proportions and Rates.

17. Risk and Odds.

18. Ratios of Risk and Odds.

PART VI ANALYSING THE DATA: ESTIMATION AND HYPOTHESIS TESTING.

19. Confidence Intervals for Means, Proportions, and Medians.

20. Confidence Intervals for Ratios.

21. Testing Hypotheses – the p-Value.

PART VII ANALYSING THE DATA: MULTIVARIABLE METHODS.

22. Measuring Association.

23. Measuring Agreement.

24. The Linear Regression Model.

25. The Logistic Regression Model.

26. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

27. Measuring Survival.

PART VIII READING BETWEEN THE LINES: HOW AUTHORS USE TEXT, TABLES AND PICTURES TO TELL YOU WHAT THEY'VE DONE.

28. Results in Text and Tables.

29. Results in Pictures.

30. The Discussion and the Conclusions.

References.

Index.

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David Bowers, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, UKBest selling author of Statistics from Scratch and Medical Statistics from Scratch.

Allan House, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, UK

David Owens, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, UK

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  • The book is designed to help with reading research papers, by explaining their structure and the vocabulary they use. These essential first steps will make interpretation of clinical research that much easier. 
  • It is written with the presentation of many examples of recently published papers, typically picking out good practice.
  • Effective for the new student and the active practitioner who might confess to a lack of knowledge or understanding.
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"Reading it will definitely enhance one's ability to distinguish the robust from the not so robust. Worthy of space in a departmental library." (UROLOGY NEWS, July 2010)

"…an excellent basis for all who intend to write scientific texts as well as those reading, evaluating, and trying to understand the results…" (Clinical Chemistry, May 2007)

"What makes this book unique is that each point presented is illustrated with excerpts from actual papers, often three or four per chapter...this is a very effective teaching device." (Journal of the American Medical Association, December 26, 2006)

"This should be quite useful to the intended audience." (Doody's Health Services)

"What strikes the reader ... straight away is clarity … promises to become a recommended text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses." (Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, September 2006)

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