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Intuitive Biostatistics Paperback – October 19, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0195086072 ISBN-10: 0195086074 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (October 19, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195086074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195086072
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"I like this book much, I will be "beta-testing" it on my upper-level undergraduate biostatistics class. It fills a great need for my students."--Harriette Phelps, University of D.C.


"This splendid book meets a major need in public health, medicine, and biomedical research training--a user-friendly biostatistics text for non-mathematicians."--Gilbert S. Omenn, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Michigan


"Motulsky has written a very readable and delightful account of how statistics are used in biology and medicine...He focuses on clinical studies and covers a broad range of topics, including...such specialized areas as survival analysis, Bayesian inference, and logistic regression." --Quarterly Review of Biology


"The unique aspect of the book, which makes it different from other biostatistics books, is its approach to the content...His goal is to help the reader interpret medical literature rather than analyze a set of data....I higly recommend this book for those needing a non-mathematical, explanatory introduction to biostatistics. It is well-written and provides wonderful clinical examples and biostatistical content...An excellent resource book for medical students and housestaff who are struggling along with the concepts; and for those of you who were wondering, it was surprisingly easy to read."--Joseph Chu, MD, MPH, University of Washington in Teaching and Learning Medicine


About the Author

Harvey Motulsky is at University of California at San Diego.

More About the Author

After graduating medical school and doing an internship in internal medicine, I switched to research in receptor pharmacology research (and published over 50 peer reviewed articles). While I was on the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California San Diego, I was given the job of teaching statistics to first year medical students and to graduate students. The syllabus for those courses grew into the first edition of Intuitive Biostatistics.

I hated creating graphs by hand, so I created some programs to do so. I also created some simple statistics programs when I saw that the existing statistical software, while great for statisticians, was overkill for most scientists. These efforts became the beginnings of GraphPad Software, Inc. (www.graphpad.com), which has been a full-time endeavor for me for many years.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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If you deal with statistics on any level I would recommend this book.
TheoH
Overall, if you are in school, facing a biostatics class with extreme trepidation, buy this book as a supplement.
Melissa Naiman
Dr. Motulsky does an excellent job of introducing statistical concepts through examples and direct applications.
Jim Carson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Chernick on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dr. Motulsky is an MD who is also a Professor of Pharmacology and President of his own software company. The book's title suggests that he can make biostatistics intuitive for non-statisticians (e.g. physicians, clinicians and nurses). After reading through it he has made a believer out of me! He introduces concepts through examples and touches on most of the important statistical methods that are used in the medical literature. While the book could be used as a classroom text, it seems to me to be more suited as a reference source for medical researchers who want to understand the statistics described in research papers. Although not a statistician by training, Dr. Motulsky has a good understanding of statistical methods and principles and exhibits his wisdom and experience throughout the book. He is deliberate at keeping things simple and to the point. He points out that he intentionally uses fake examples and modifies real examples for simplification of exposition. He avoids mathematics as much as possible. the preface and the introduction are very well written and the reader should read both before reading the rest of the text.
My usual concern with such books is that concepts are oversimplified and the presentation is too cook-bookish. Amazingly that is not the case here. Professor Motulsky carefully explains concepts such as confidence intervals, p-values, multiple comparison issues, Bayesian thinking and Bayesian controversy in a way that should be understandable to his intended audience.

Proportions and the binomial distribution are introduced early. Advanced topics such as sequential methods, survival curves and logistic regression are tackled. These subjects are important in medical research but are often avoided in elementary books.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Marino on September 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm a practicing physician who has found it necessary to try to educate myself on the use of biostatistics in the medical literature. I have read over 20 books on biostatistics. This is clearly the best. It is written so that even the non-statistician can understand the concepts, and explains the statistical approach and rationale without scaring the reader away with arcane formulas. It is very logical in its progression and addresses the errors and assumptions that doctors make when trying to evaluate a paper. This book should be required reading not only by every medical student, but by anyone who attempts to write or interpret the medical literature.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jim Carson on July 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dr. Motulsky does an excellent job of introducing statistical concepts through examples and direct applications. Where this book is especially valuable is in keeping things simple -- without the intimidating mathematical notation -- while providing examples of where statistics can be used to measure the wrong things or present results that do not make sense in the context of what the researcher is investigating.
My favorite example illustrates how a stastical analysis of a new test that identifies those susceptible to a fatal disease "shows" an increase in the average lifespan of both populations (those who suffer the disease and those who don't). The reality, of course, is no one is living longer because of the test, but rather the population sampled is different. Brilliant and concise.
Although the text is targeted towards those in the bioinformatic and medical vocations, it's useful beyond that because the presentation of concepts is practical and yet without the notation.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Garrison VINE VOICE on November 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I often recommend this book to two different groups:

* colleagues who want to have a better understanding of the factors that drive statistical methods in medical research, without having to learn the actual statistics themselves

and

* students who are soon going to be taking biostatistics for the first time, and are anxious about whether they will be able to understand the material. For those who are a little on the math phobic side of things, this can be a great introduction to read through before formal coursework begins.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Donald Brand on February 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was delighted to discover this book four years ago, when I began teaching a course in clinical research methods. I have not seen anything else like the text or the optional companion software by GraphPad. The textbook is extremely well-written and well-organized. Not only have I been using the book and software in my teaching, but I have found that they handle about 90% of my own statistical needs for my research.
The author's philosophy (to forget the fancy stuff since the vast majority of applications don't require it) and the way it is implemented (with just enough theory to protect users from making false inferences) are exactly right. Dr. Motulsky has done a a superb job.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Pick on October 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I adopted this book as the text for a one quarter course in introductory biostatistics at UCSD Extension. I like the "spirit" of the book, and feel that it meets the needs of biomedical professionals who are our audience, better than a standard introductory statistics text such as Triola or Freund & Wilson. The stress in the book is placed on conceptual understanding of confidence intervals instead of mechanical computation of p-values.

As a mathematician, however, I was disappointed by the lack of rigor in the book, and especially at the plethora of mistakes, both in the text and in the solutions to the exercises. So one must teach from this book with caution, and use this book with a supplement, such as Schaum's Outline or Cliff's Notes, if one wants students to learn how to do the statistics.
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