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on March 31, 2000
Greenhalgh's book is a good place to start if you want to learn how to consume research articles. The target audience for this book is those primarily interested in health research, but it useful for all those who must make their way through journal articles. Greenhalgh goes through the basics and touches on important issues. However, it is important to point out that this book is only a first step in understanding how to read journal articles.
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on August 14, 2009
This is a very readable and informative book on how to read and assess medical research papers. The author touches on something broadly applicable to almost any field, and that is how to exercise critical thinking, how to ask the right questions, what logical traps to avoid. This is so doctors don't get fooled by eager pharmaceuticals representatives; Also, for patients to educate themselves in Bayesian statistics so they can overcome their doctors flawed tests recommendations. This book will also help researchers conduct their own experiment in integer ways to derive informative results for society at large. It will also help policymakers not being fooled by flawed research studies.

The author has been criticized for not often technically describing the statistical tests she refers to. But, this was not the author's purpose. She states right upfront in the preface, if you want to dig deep into the technicalities get Clinical Epidemiology: A Basic Science for Clinical Medicine. The author has conveyed something more important than providing another treaty in statistical epidemiology. Frankly, if you are interested in the various statistical tests, Wikipedia will do just fine. But, what tests to use when and how are very important considerations she addresses with much expertise. What analytical framework and methodology to use in what research situation. How to judge if such research conducted by others used inappropriate frameworks. Those are tough issues often more difficult to handle proficiently than conducting statistical tests.

She provides extensive information on related subjects. Her introduction to Bayesian statistics in chapter seven is really clear. She explains the likelihood ratio in the most straightforward way I have seen yet. Her chapter on economic analysis is surprisingly insightful as she defines all the different types of such analysis. Appendix I consists in a very rich set of checklists for finding, appraising, and implementing [medical] evidence. It is a good reference guide to the entire material within the book. Her chapter on statistics for the non-statisticians is outstanding. She actually teaches you a lot about statistics without going into the math. She even uncovers several traps that many professional statisticians may fall into especially when blinded by economic interests. Her discussion on distinguishing causation from correlation or regression is well thought out.

In summary, this book offers a lot of valuable qualitative information to better interpret quantitative research for both the layperson and the expert alike.
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on July 15, 2001
Greenhalgh's book is a great read for someone familiar with medical and research terminology. As a med student, I loved it and found it very practical. It contains a great deal of material on how to evaluate the type, methodology, and statistical methods of research papers. There is no glossary, and in places the layout is hard to look at.
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This book is an excellent, easy to read guide for anyone who needs a better understanding of research studies, and how to evaluate their applicability and reliability. It is perfect for nursing, psychology, and allied health research courses.

This book is a compilation of ten articles the author wrote for the British Journal of Medicine (BMJ). If you look online you can find the individual articles scattered here and there and at one point I even found all the articles (essentially this book) as an ebook available for free download.

I refer to this book time and time again when I need a refresher on the various aspects of research and also to verify that I hit on all the points when evaluating a study.

Great book, very user friendly.
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on August 27, 2013
I'm using the Kindle app on an ipad. Not only are the index items not clickable, the page numbers do not show up. This is such a major concern I'm considering contacting Amazon for a refund.

The book itself is quite useful. Get it on paper!
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on June 11, 2001
"How to Read a Paper" reads more like a short essay than a book. While it is well written and often full of spirited discussion, this text is somewhat short on substance and generally too simplistic. The author rarely delves beyond the surface when explaining and exporoing this field, leaving me, at least, unsatisfied. Whereas a simplistic approach to any field may be useful, the amplification of themes once introduced is where real learning occurs. This book falls short, where several other excellent texts in this field carry on. I do like the author's style, and would encourage her to scribe a more thorough text... but if I were you I'd wait for that effort before buying this one.
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on January 8, 2011
This book definitely gets into the nitty-gritty of scientific papers but with a sense of humor that keeps me coming back. I've learned so much and I appreciate that there is someone skilled enough that can take such a dry subject and make it fun! I am so happy I understand this content - thank you Trisha Greenhalgh.
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on May 23, 2013
This was the textbook for a graduate-level nutrition seminar I took. Greenhalgh takes the supremely dry subject of interpreting research and makes it enjoyable to learn about. She must have a super power. I sincerely hope she will one day write a Nutritional Biochemistry text.
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on July 16, 2007
This book fills a gap in my library.
I think that it applies well to our everyday practice in internal medicine because it summarizes the knowledge without being shallow.
It is very interesting the section about statistics with some pearls that really have an influence in the way we consider the analysis of data in papers we are used to read.
A must read book!
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on September 20, 2011
This book is a good way of getting to know eved. research--great way to understand the subject also.Thanks for getting it to me on time
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