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A Clinician's Guide to Statistics and Epidemiology in Mental Health: Measuring Truth and Uncertainty (Cambridge Medicine (Paperback)) 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521709583
ISBN-10: 052170958X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Overall, the book is one of the more thought-provoking of its genre, and reminiscent of the writings of Kenneth Rothman."
--Doody's Review Service

Book Description

Accessible and clinically relevant, A Clinician's Guide to Statistics and Epidemiology in Mental Health describes statistical concepts in plain English with minimal mathematical content. Perfect for the busy health professional who wants to know which statistics to believe - and why.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Medicine (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (July 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052170958X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521709583
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #693,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By George Dawson on January 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There may be a professor of psychiatry out there who does a better job than Nassir Ghaemi in transmitting his wisdom directly to you - but in twenty years I have not found one. I have read the authors research papers for years. As an editor, I became familiar with his book "The Concepts of Psychiatry" as I considered the philosophical aspects of the field. His writing is always clear and his thinking consistently brilliant.

In this brief volume on statistics and epidemiology his historical and original observations and descriptions of recent concepts is worth the price of purchase alone. A good example is his chapter on meta-analysis. He reminds the reader why this statistical method was invented in the first place and goes on to discuss significant limitations, significant historical critiques, and where the method might be useful. His opinions are well thought out and in a few brief pages he touches on issues that seem to be rarely discussed in the literature. This is an important chapter for a physician to read during a time when more and more meta-analyses are considered the gospel and end up as front page truths.

He also provides a "defense and criticism" of evidence based medicine. He provides a philosophical context for the discussion and reminds us of "the cult of the Swan-Ganz catheter". Anyone who was an intern or resident in intensive care settings in the 1980s and early 1990s can recall the widespread use of this device despite the lack of evidence in randomized clinical trials (RCTs). It became the standard of care despite the lack of evidence. He pays homage to Feinstein his original observations that the evidence for evidence-based medicine goes beyond RCTs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a medical director in a pharmacy benefit company, rigorous evaluation of clinical trials is a large part of my responsibilities. Medical providers/prescribers are baraged with information from the medical literature, some excellent, some deceptive and everything in between. It is therefore critical, in making healthcare decisions, to be able to separate and understand this literature. Ghaemi's book is a thorough treatment of how to understand the medical literature.

The volume takes the reader through bias, randomization, chance, and outcome. Relevant metrics such as effect size and number needed to treat are intelligently, yet understandably, described. The limitations of p values are excellently presented! Ghaemi does a nice job on hypothesis testing. I enjoyed his refreshing description of statistical principles froma historical and philosophic approach.

This is a terrific volume that is critical reading for clinicians, researchers, medical scientists, and policy/decision makers. As such, highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm finishing my master's degree in counseling, and I have found this book to be more useful than the 400 page sedative that was my research methods class text. While engaging in research is interesting, reading about the process often isn't. Dr. Ghaemi's writing is easy to understand and engaging. I have found this book to be helpful as I am studying for the National Counselor Exam, which includes a section on research methods and of course tests on the same material as what is in this book. Worthwhile read.
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Format: Paperback
This book gives a clear and not oversimplified summary of a variety of statistical concepts. The author is very personal and engaging and does not overstate the power of statistics to enable us to be sure of the facts. I found the book very readable and have realised that on occasion when dealing with a paper and some statistical question then some of the text comes to my mind. The ideas in it have taken root in my head.
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