P.Mean >> Category >> Teaching resources (created 2007-06-05). 

These pages present teaching resources that I have found. Also see Category: Critical appraisal, Category: Information searching, Category: Interesting stuff, Category: Statistical evidence.


58. So you're thinking about research (created 2016-07-05). I'm writing a series of webpages that can help you get started on various types of research. Every research project is different and unique, of course, but the first few steps that you take are usually quite similar. I want to outline those first few steps so you can kick start your research project and build the momentum that you need. I want to keep a list of these guides here.


57. P.Mean: Counting squares (created 2013-04-02). The Harvard Business Review blog presented an image (see below) and asked you to count the number of squares in the picture, explain how you arrived at that number, and explain the "connection (if any) do you see between this exercise and breakthrough innovation." This was to be done in the comments section of the blog entry. Sometimes I like these exercises and sometimes not, but this one caught my attention, in part because I came up with an anser that I later realized was wrong. I was determined to do this well the second time around. I came up with 30 squares. Here's what I wrote.


56. P.Mean: Abstracts for teaching about p-values and confidence intervals (created 2011-12-08). I am giving a webinar to a group that is interested in applications of statistics to Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. I wanted to show some real world uses of p-values and confidence intervals, and did a few quick searches for open source articles. I also am including the abstracts of several articles that they sent me. The font size on the handout is a bit small, so I am including the abstracts here as well so you can view them with a reasonable font size.

55. The nature of advice on email discussion lists (created 2011-03-08). I participate on several email discussion lists, and someone complained a bit about the advice he was getting. "So my question is if this forum is open for people like me? Can I ask questions and get advice without being patronised?" Here's what I wrote in response.


54. P.Mean: Resources using Stack Overflow (created 2010-06-30). A bunch of Internet resources fell into my lap all at once. Some of them relate to a new technology (Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange) that allows people to pose questions like an Interenet email discussion group, but it is web-based and has some of the capabilities associated with blogs and wikis.

53. P.Mean: Classic references in Statistics (created 2010-06-29). A prominent statistician, Christian Robert, listed some classic research papers in Statistics that he wanted to present to his students in a special readings class. This was commented on by another prominent statistician, Andrew Gelman. I'm not a prominent statistician, but that won't stop me from adding my two cents.

52. P.Mean: Where can I find free online textbooks (created 2010-01-07). Someone was away from their personal library for a while and needed a free online statistics reference book. With a free textbook, you get what you pay for, of course, but there are some exceptions.


51. P.Mean: Good papers for a journal club (created 2009-03-07). I work as a biostatistician within a medical research area and I am planning on starting a stats/research methods journal club. This would be aimed at postgraduate students (from both science and medical degree background), early career academic researchers (again, they come from both science and medical backgrounds), and clinical researchers (medical doctors from areas such as critical care and gastroenterology). In conjunction with published work from their research areas I wish to use papers that present fairly fundamental statistical concepts in an easy to read manner. I imagine focusing more on theoretical/philosophical issues, rather than 'this is how you do an ANOVA' type treatises. Does anyone have any favourite such papers that they find useful for researchers?


50. P.Mean: Biostatistics or Health Informatics programs in or near Kansas City (created 2008-10-18). I'm looking to expand my knowledge base. I was wondering if there are any programs in or near the Kansas City area that offer BioStats or Healthcare Informatics types courses (things with a more math bent).

49. P.Mean: Good examples of bad studies (created 2008-09-26). Does any one have a good example of a fairly flawed therapy article for a course that I teach in EBM. Seems most of the articles I find aren't too badly designed. Students always want to see some bad articles to critique.

48. P.Mean: What resources are available for fellows? (created 2008-08-20). I am on the Core Curriculum Committee for a fellowship program in medicine (details omitted to protect privacy) and we are in the process of updating our reading list for the fellows in training. One of the many topics we are trying to update is some basic info on statistics. I was going to reference your book, but they are mostly looking for good review articles that the fellows are more likely to look at. Specifically, they want info on: Test-performance characteristics: principles of sensitivity, specificity, predictive value, and ROC analysis. I was wondering also about referencing your web page as well.

47. P.Mean: Where can I learn more about Statistics? (created 2008-07-18). Someone asked me how they could learn more about a specialized topic in Statistics. They were willing to pay for this, though they didn't have a lot of money.

46. P.Mean: Getting on and off various email lists (created 2008-07-17). In my transition to a new email address, I am having to sign off and re-sign on to a variety of email lists. Here are the details of how to do this for those lists related to my work.

Outside resources:

UCLA. AP Statistics Curriculum 2007. Excerpt: This is an Internet-based E-Book for advanced-placement (AP) statistics educational curriculum. The E-Book is initially developed by the UCLA Statistics Online Computational Resource (SOCR), however, all statistics instructors, researchers and educators are encouraged to contribute to this effort and improve the content of these learning materials. There are 4 novel features of this specific Statistics EBook – it is community-built, completely open-access (in terms of use and contributions), blends concepts with technology and is multi-lingual. URL: wiki.stat.ucla.edu/socr/index.php/AP_Statistics_Curriculum_2007

Chris Olsen, Roxy Peck, Peter Flanagan-Hyde, Dick Scheaffer, College Board. AP Statistics Module. Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and Conducting a Study (PDF). Description: This web page proivdes a lengthy (122 page) discussion of how to plan and conduct a research study. It is intended to help students studying for the Advanced Placement exam in Statistics, but the advice is of general value to anyone involved in research. URL: apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/AP_Statistics_Module_Planning_and_Conducting_a_Study.pdf

Medical Journal of Australia. Articles on statistics, epidemiology and research design. Description: The Medical Journal of Australia publishes numerous articles on research methodology and all of the content is full free text. This particular page on their website has links to over 100 articles about statistics, epidemiology, and research design. This website was last verified on 2007-11-29. URL: www.mja.com.au/Topics/Statistics,%20epidemiology%20and%20research%20design.html

Garfield J. Assessment Resource Tools for Improving Statistical Thinking. Excerpt: Our goal is to help teachers assess statistical literacy, statistical reasoning, and statistical thinking in first courses of statistics. This Web site provides a variety of assessment resources for teaching first courses in Statistics. Available at: https://app.gen.umn.edu/artist/index.html  [Accessed October 15, 2009].

Gordon Smyth. Australasian Data and Story Library (OzDASL). Description: This website offers a library of data sets and associated stories. It is intended as a resource for teachers of statistics, and emphasis is given to data sets with an Australasian context. URL: www.statsci.org/data/

Geoffrey R. Norman, PhD, David L. Streiner, Biostatistics The Bare Essentials. (1994) St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby-Year Book, Inc. [BookFinder4U link] Description: This book is good for someone looking for an introduction to statistics. It is very readable book with a lot of humor. There is a second edition, published in 2000, that I have not seen.

Coppus S, Emparanza J, Hadley J, et al. A clinically integrated curriculum in Evidence-based Medicine for just-in-time learning through on-the-job training: The EU-EBM project. BMC Medical Education. 2007;7(1):46. Abstract: BACKGROUND: Over the last years key stake holders in the healthcare sector have increasingly recognised evidence based medicine (EBM) as a means to improving the quality of healthcare. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the best way to disseminate basic knowledge of EBM. As a result, huge variation in EBM educational provision, setting, duration, intensity, content, and teaching methodology exists across Europe and worldwide. Most courses for health care professionals are delivered outside the work context ('stand alone') and lack adaptation to the specific needs for EBM at the learners' workplace. Courses with modern 'adaptive' EBM teaching that employ principles of effective continuing education might fill that gap. We aimed to develop a course for post-graduate education which is clinically integrated and allows maximum flexibility for teachers and learners. METHODS: A group of experienced EBM teachers, clinical epidemiologists, clinicians and educationalists from institutions from eight European countries participated. We used an established methodology of curriculum development to design a clinically integrated EBM course with substantial components of e-learning. An independent European steering committee provided input into the process. RESULTS:We defined explicit learning objectives about knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour for the five steps of EBM. A handbook guides facilitator and learner through five modules with clinical and e-learning components. Focussed activities and targeted assignments round off the learning process, after which each module is formally assessed. CONCLUSION: The course is learner-centred, problem-based, integrated with activities in the workplace and flexible. When successfully implemented, the course is designed to provide just-in-time learning through on-the-job-training, with the potential for teaching and learning to directly impact on practice.. [Accessed November 17, 2009]. Available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/7/46

Pearl DK. Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE). Excerpt: Arising from a strategic initiative of the American Statistical Association, CAUSE is a national organization whose mission is to support and advance undergraduate statistics education, in four target areas: resources, professional development, outreach, and research. The overarching goals in each area are: * Resources: Collect, review, develop, and disseminate resources for members of the undergraduate statistics education community. * Professional Development: Coordinate, develop, and disseminate opportunities, programs, and workshops for teachers and others involved in statistics education projects and initiatives, present and future. * Outreach: Establish and promote communication and collaborations among statistics educators, as well as with other professional organizations and disciplines that are concerned with undergraduate statistics education. * Research: Establish the area of statistics education research as a recognized discipline with a visible presence. Prepare and connect researchers from all disciplines that conduct research in statistics education. Our primary vehicle for communication is CAUSEweb.org, which is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. [Accessed November 11, 2009]. Available at: http://www.causeweb.org/

Matthew Hutcheson, Mike Meyer, Cara Olson, Paul Velleman, John Walker, Cornell University. The Data and Story Library (DASL). Excerpt: "DASL (pronounced 'dazzle') is an online library of datafiles and stories that illustrate the use of basic statistics methods. We hope to provide data from a wide variety of topics so that statistics teachers can find real-world examples that will be interesting to their students." This website was last verified on 2008-URL: lib.stat.cmu.edu/DASL/

C. G. Son, S. Bilke, S. Davis, B. T. Greer, J. S. Wei, C. C. Whiteford, Q. R. Chen, N. Cenacchi, J. Khan. Database of mRNA gene expression profiles of multiple human organs. Genome Res 2005: 15(3); 443-50. [Medline] [Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]. Description: This article describes an interesting data set, available for free on the web, that represents DNA expression levels for a 158 tissues (19 different organs from 30 different individuals).

Thangaratinam, Shakila. EU-EBM Unity Project. Excerpt: The EU EBM Unity project (funded by Leonardo da Vinci national agency), aims to develop a European Qualification in Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) that will improve the relevance and quality of medical training in Europe, and enable doctors to easily integrate into the healthcare systems of other member states. It will ultimately improve the care of European patients and the mobility and effectiveness of doctors throughout Europe. [Accessed November 17, 2009]. Available at: http://www.ebm-unity.org/

Kulier R, Hadley J, Weinbrenner S, et al. Harmonising Evidence-based medicine teaching: a study of the outcomes of e-learning in five European countries. BMC Medical Education. 2008;8(1):27. Abstract: BACKGROUND: We developed and evaluated the outcomes of an e-learning course for evidence based medicine (EBM) training in postgraduate medical education in different languages and settings across five European countries. METHODS: We measured changes in knowledge and attitudes with well-developed assessment tools before and after administration of the course. The course consisted of five e-learning modules covering acquisition (formulating a question and search of the literature), appraisal, application and implementation of findings from systematic reviews of therapeutic interventions, each with interactive audio-visual learning materials of 15 to 20 minutes duration. The modules were prepared in English, Spanish, German and Hungarian. The course was delivered to 101 students from different specialties in Germany (psychiatrists), Hungary (mixture of specialties), Spain (general medical practitioners), Switzerland (obstetricians-gynaecologists) and the UK (obstetricians-gynaecologists). We analysed changes in scores across modules and countries. RESULTS: On average across all countries, knowledge scores significantly improved from pre- to post-course for all five modules (p < 0.001). The improvements in scores were on average 1.87 points (14% of total score) for module 1, 1.81 points (26% of total score) for module 2, 1.9 points (11% of total score) for module 3, 1.9 points (12% of total score) for module 4 and 1.14 points (14% of total score) for module 5. In the country specific analysis, knowledge gain was not significant for module 4 in Spain, Switzerland and the UK, for module 3 in Spain and Switzerland and for module 2 in Spain. Compared to pre-course assessment, after completing the course participants felt more confident that they can assess research evidence and that the healthcare system in their country should have its own programme of research about clinical effectiveness. CONCLUSION: E-learning in EBM can be harmonised for effective teaching and learning in different languages, educational settings and clinical specialties, paving the way for development of an international e-EBM course.. [Accessed November 17, 2009]. Available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/8/27

American Statistical Association. Journal of Statistics Education (JSE) Data Archive. Description: This website provides data sets used in the various articles in the Journal of Statistics Education. URL: www.amstat.org/publications/jse/jse_data_archive.htm

GraphJam: Pop culture for people in cubicles. (AKA Song Chart Meme). Description: This website shows humorous ideas expressed as graphs (line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, etc.). URL: graphjam.com

Xie Y. Keep on Fighting! - Yihui XIE: A Blog Site for Statistics. Available at: http://www.yihui.name/en/index.php [Accessed March 13, 2009].

American Statistical Association. Making Sense of Statistical Studies. Available at: http://www.amstat.org/education/msss/?nl=0509  [Accessed May 20, 2009]. Excerpt: Are hot dogs unhealthy? What percent of people wear their seat belts when driving? Which works better-a low-fat diet or a low-carbohydrate diet? Would most teenagers return an extra $10 they received in incorrect change at a store? Does listening to music hurt students' concentration and ability to study? How are peoples' heights and foot lengths related? These are just a few examples of the types of questions students will explore in Making Sense of Statistical Studies (MSSS). The module consists of 15 hands-on investigations that provide students with valuable experience in designing and analyzing statistical studies. It is written for an upper middle-school or high-school audience having some background in exploratory data analysis and basic probability.

Martin Bland, University of York. Martin Bland's Home Page. Description: This website includes teaching notes, publications, and other material from Martin Bland. The breadth of coverage is outstanding. This site can also be accessed from http://martinbland.co.uk. URL: www-users.york.ac.uk/~mb55/

Victor M. Montori, MD, MSc; Gordon H. Guyatt. Progress in Evidence-Based Medicine. JAMA. 2008;300(15):1814-1816. Description: This article summarizes one of the first publications about Evidence Based Medicine, which appeared in JAMA in 1992. The authors go on to discuss how EBM has changed since 1992. [Full text] [PDF]

Neal R. Radford Neal’s blog. Available at: http://radfordneal.wordpress.com/ [Accessed March 13, 2009].

Radical Statistics. Reduced Statistics. Excerpt: "Recurrent economic crunches are reducing public expenditure. Public statistics that support social development and democratic planning are no exception. To help monitor the impact of changing government priorities on public statistics, we offer this list without comment on the reductions or motivations for them." [Accessed December 20, 2010]. Available at: http://radstats.wordpress.com/reducedstatistics/.

Webpage: Susan Holmes, Nelson Ray. The Role of a Wine Pricing Competition in Teaching Data Mining at Stanford Excerpt: "We will discuss how we coordinated, held, and judged a wine pricing competition (hosted on Kaggle-in-Class - inclass.kaggle.com) to engage students in applying prediction techniques learned in our data mining class at Stanford. We found that with proper incentives, the competition was very successful in getting students interested in working collaboratively in a race against the clock to eke out additional predictive performance in their models." [Accessed on May 6, 2011]. http://www.causeweb.org/webinar/activity/2011-04/.

University of Georgia. Archives of SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU. Description: This site allows you to join the email discussion group about SPSS or to review its archives. Available at: http://www.listserv.uga.edu/archives/spssx-l.html [Accessed October 15, 2009].

Sage Foundation. Sage: Open Source Mathematics Software. Abstract: "Sage is a free open-source mathematics software system licensed under the GPL. It combines the power of many existing open-source packages into a common Python-based interface. Mission: Creating a viable free open source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica and Matlab." [Accessed September 8, 2010]. Available at: http://www.sagemath.org/.

Wynn L, Mason PH, Everett K. Social Sciences Ethics Training - Macquarie University. Excerpt: Welcome to Macquarie University's Online Ethics Training Module! This free educational resource examines the particular ethical issues raised by social science and humanities research. The training module is divided into 6 basic parts. You can start and stop reading at any point in the module, and you can close it and return to it later. After you have reviewed the entire module, there is a quiz that tests your comprehension of the material. [Accessed November 17, 2009]. Available at: http://www.mq.edu.au/ethics_training/

UCLA. Statistics Data Sets. Description: This website provides links to data sets from books, consulting projects, and government agencies, and so forth. URL: www.stat.ucla.edu/data

Webpage: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Statistics Teacher Network Excerpt: "The Statistics Teacher Network is a newsletter published three times a year by the American Statistical Association - National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability for Grades K-12." [Accessed on December 16, 2011]. http://www.amstat.org/education/stn/.

[[Broken link, original URL: statlinks.slinkset.com]] Nick Barrowman. StatLinks: Applied statistics, data analysis, and visualization. Description: This website provides links to resources of interest to most practicing statisticians. It uses a social bookmarking system (SlinkSet), which means that any registered user can add links and can vote on links of others that they like.

G. David Garson. StatNotes: Topics in Multivariate Analysis. Description: This is a general purpose textbook, written in discrete sections in html format. It covers more than just multivariate analysis. [Accessed January 14, 2010]. Available at: http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/garson/PA765/statnote.htm.

Nada Khan. Stats and epidemiology methodology seminar/journal club. Description: "This is a blog for a journal club. The location of the journal club is a bit unclear, but it is definitely at Oxford, possibly in the Centre for Statistics in Medicine. This blog presents interesting papers relating to statistical methodology and provides some valuable cirtiques as well." [Accessed May 19, 2010]. Available at: http://statsmethods.blogspot.com/.

Springer, PlanetMath. StatProb: The Encyclopedia Sponsored by Statistics and Probability Societies. Excerpt: "StatProb: The Encyclopedia Sponsored by Statistics and Probability Societies combines the advantages of traditional wikis (rapid and up-to-date publication, user-generated development, hyperlinking, and a saved history) with traditional publishing (quality assurance, review, credit to authors, and a structured information display). All contributions have been approved by an editorial board determined by leading statistical societies; the editorial board members are listed on the About page. All encyclopedia entries are written in LaTeX. All of the entries are automatically cross-referenced and the entire corpus is kept updated in real-time. Anyone can view articles. To submit a new article or propose a change in an existing article, you must create an account. It takes only a minute, so sign up!" [Accessed September 15, 2010]. Available at: http://statprob.com/.

Arcady Mushegian. Stowers Institute Bioinformatics Center and IT Group (Arcady Mushegian). Description: This page highlights the work of the Bioinformatics Group at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. The researchers in this group provide numerous resources on new statistical programs as well as how to effectively use existing programs like R and Bioconductor. This website was last verified on 2007-10-12. URL: research.stowers-institute.org/bioinfo/

UCLA Academic Technology Services. Textbook examples. Excerpt: This page lists all of the books for which we have developed web pages showing how to solve the examples using common statistical packages. We encourage you to obtain the textbooks associated with these pages to gain a deeper conceptual understanding of the analyses illustrated (see our suggestions on Where to buy books). We are very grateful to the authors of these textbooks for granting us permission to create these pages and to distribute their data files via our web pages. URL: www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/examples/

Richard Lehman. Weekly review of medical journals. Description: This weblog is a summary of Richard Lehman's review of interesting articles in the medical literature. Often the articles are selected for what they can teach us about the research process as a whole. Dr. Lehman takes a very light-hearted and breezy view which makes the entries a lot of fun to read. URL: blogs.bmj.com/bmj/category/richard-lehmans-weekly-review-of-medical-journals

Creative Commons License All of the material above this paragraph is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. This page was written by Steve Simon and was last modified on 2017-06-15. The material below this paragraph links to my old website, StATS. Although I wrote all of the material listed below, my ex-employer, Children's Mercy Hospital, has claimed copyright ownership of this material. The brief excerpts shown here are included under the fair use provisions of U.S. Copyright laws.


45. Stats: I hate bad research examples (April 23, 2008). Someone wrote in asking if I know of any good examples of research studies that illustrate problems of making false generalizations. I had to mention my book, of course, which has lots of commentary of actual publications, most of which are open source and freely available on the web. For what it’s worth, I do have a pedagogical bone to pick. I believe it is not a good idea to find a “bad” publication and tear it apart.

44. Stats: What sort of statistical training is needed for basic scientists? (March 29, 2008). Someone wrote to a mailing list sponsored by the American Statistical Association asking about what resources to use in a statistics class aimed at basic scientists (as opposed to public health students and clinical scientists). I offered a few general recommendations.

43. Stats: Statistics for Boards (March 25, 2008). I was asked to give a talk to the medical residents with the title "Statistics for Boards". Many health care professionals need to take boards or other certifying examinations during their training and afterwards to certify or re-certify their skill in an area. These boards often ask some basic statistics questions. A common theme appears to be, what statistic should I use in what situation. The answer often depends on what the predictor variable is and what the outcome variable is.

42. Stats: What have you changed your mind about (January 18, 2008). A group called The Edge (www.edge.org) asks a question each year of prominent scientists and a few select non-scientists. This group represents  from a broad range of backgrounds and disciplines and provides an interesting variety of responses. Questions asked in the past include: What are you optimistic about?, What is your dangerous idea?, and What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it? Just recently, this group published responses to the 2008 question: What have you changed your mind about? Why? Several of the responses touch directly or indirectly on Statistics.


41. Stats: Educational and networking opportunities for statisticians in the Kansas City area (October 4, 2007). There are three groups that offer seminars, training classes and informal networking opportunities for statisticians in the Kansas City area.

40. Stats: Classic references in evidence based medicine (May 16, 2007). A couple of weeks ago, a regular correspondent (PG) on the Evidence Based Health email discussion group asked about what were the essential readings in Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). These are articles beyond simple tutorials that are aimed at those who want more specifics about EBM. The articles that this person suggested are quite good. Here are some additional articles that may be helpful. They are organized in a variety of topics.

39. Stats: Where can you find interesting case studies in Statistics? (May 2, 2007). Someone wrote in to the MedStats email discussion group and asked about where to find interesting articles with full free text and sufficient detail that students could calculate some of the statistics on their own. This person had relied on BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), which is a source that I have also found useful.

38. Stats: Teaching Statistics, An International Journal for Teachers (January 3, 2007). A regular contributor to EDSTAT-L (DR) mentioned the following interesting resource: Teaching Statistics - An International Journal for Teachers. Gerald Goodall, David Green, The Teaching Statistics Trust 2006.


37. Stats: What percentage of medical decisions are based on good evidence? (December 29, 2006). A correspondent on the evidence based health list noted a commonly quoted statistic that only 10% of all medical practices are based on solid evidence (e.g., randomized trials) and asked for any recent data either supporting or refuting this statistic. I shared several resources that I was aware of:

36. Stats: Evidence-based development of medical guidelines (December 13, 2006). An open source journal, Health Research Policy and Systems, has a series of articles on how to develop guidelines in a rigorous and evidence-base manner. The abstract of the first article explains the genesis of this review: In 2005 the World Health Organisation (WHO) asked its Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR) for advice on ways in which WHO can improve the use of research evidence in the development of recommendations, including guidelines and policies. The ACHR established the Subcommittee on the Use of Research Evidence (SURE) to collect background documentation and consult widely among WHO staff, international experts and end users of WHO recommendations to inform its advice to WHO. We have prepared a series of reviews of methods that are used in the development of guidelines as part of this background documentation. We describe here the background and methods of these reviews, which are being published in Health Research Policy and Systems together with this introduction.

35. Stats: Top ten studies in EBM, Part 4 (September 14, 2006). About a year ago, I wanted to give a talk on the ten studies that anyone who teaches EBM needs to know. These studies should be well known in the research community; actual research studies (as opposed to editorials); and illustrative of important issues in EBM. My previous writings on the topic were a bit rambling, so I am going to try to organize things a bit better.

34. Stats: Email discussion groups (September 13, 2006). An email discussion group is a collection of individuals with a common interest who supply their email address to a common site, typically called a listserver. When individuals in that group have questions or comments on a topic of interest, they send an email to the listserver and a copy of that message is sent to everyone in the group.

33. Stats: Bernadine Healy weighs in on EBM (September 11, 2006). An earlier weblog entry, Stats: Postmodern thought and evidence based medicine (September 7, 2006), discussed a harsh criticism of Evidence Based Medicine that was published in Deconstructing the evidence-based discourse in health sciences: truth, power and fascism. Dave Holmes, Stuart J. Murray, Amelie Perron, Genevieve Rail. International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare 2006: 4(3); 180. A brief commentary by Bernadine Healy published in U.S. News and World Report, cites this research, and while not quite agreeing with the harsh language (Holmes et al repeatedly compare proponents of EBM with fascists), does argue that "By anointing only a small sliver of research as best evidence and discarding or devaluing physician judgment and more than 90 percent of the medical literature, patients are forced into a one-size-fits-all straitjacket."

32. Stats: Postmodern thought and evidence based medicine (September 7, 2006). A recently published article has been drawing a lot of attention on the Internet. It takes a post-modern look at Evidence Based Medicine and in the abstract they report that "the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena."

31. Stats: Research on the web (June 27, 2006). I found this quote in WXPnews, an email newsletter covering developments with Microsoft Windows XP for the typical end user: Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly. - Roger Ebert as quoted in the June 27, 2006 issue of WXPnews, www.wxpnews.com/archives/wxpnews-233-20060627.htm.

30. Stats: Philosophy of teaching (June 20, 2006). The email discussion group, EDSTAT-L, has had an extended discussion of teaching philosophy. I do some teaching myself, and I must admit that I don't think nearly enough about my philosophy of teaching.

29. Stats: Putting a human face on Evidence Based Medicine (June 20, 2006). A correspondent (BD) on the Evidence Based Health email discussion group pointed out the following web site: www.uwec.edu/lgibbs/index.htm. The author of this website, Len Gibbs, is a prominent expert in Evidence Based Medicine. He was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

28. Stats: Eighteenth Annual Applied Statistics in Agriculture Conference (May 4, 2006). Earlier this week, I attended the Statistics in Agriculture conference that is held every year at Kansas State University. I had the choice of Tampa, Flagstaff, Montreal, or Vienna (see Where to go, where to go), and I chose Manhattan, Kansas instead. Go figure.  Several people noticed me taking notes during the talks and I explained that I was going to publish some summaries of what I learned on my web pages.

27. Stats: Placing the symbol X-bar in a document (April 17, 2006). Someone asked me how to place the symbol X-bar into a word processing document. This is tricky to do because there is nothing in the Symbol font that works and most word processing software allows for underlines but not overlines. I use a product called MathType, but it might be too expensive for someone who only needs an occasional symbol or formula here and there. For the more casual user, there are several solutions.

26. Stats: Three new koans (April 17, 2006). Over the weekend, I wrote three new koans: The Bowl of Wax Fruit, The Busy Tailor, and Some Useless Gifts

25. Stats: Statistical koan #4 (March 26, 2006). Student Leaf asked Master Stem, "I have heard some of my teachers say 'I accept the null hypothesis' and others say 'I fail to reject the alternative hypothesis.' Why do these words not mean the same thing?"

24. Stats: Statistical koan #3 (March 16, 2006). Student Leaf approached Master Stem with a question. "Master Stem. My statistical model requires an assumption of normality, but I have an outlier in the data. Should I not remove the outlier so I can satisfy this assumption?"

23. Stats: Best EBM articles in 2005 (March 6, 2006). One of the regular contributors to the Evidence Based Health email discussion group asked what we felt were the Best EBM methods papers in 2005. I'll report on the articles that people suggest. Here are a few that I like.

22. Stats: Statistical koan #2 (Feburary 28, 2006). I got some limited feedback from EDSTAT-L about using koans to illustrate difficult and subtle statistical concepts, and at least one person thought that this device would end up confusing people more than helping them. With that in mind, here is a second koan. Let me know if it confuses more than it helps.

21. Stats: Statistical koans (February 27, 2006). I've been thinking about using a literacy device known as a koan to illustrate important statistical issues. A koan is a story used in Buddhist teaching that involves a seemingly meaningless or contradictory statement. Careful contemplation of this statement leads you to a more fuller understanding of Buddhist teaching. Often these stories end with a student reaching a state of greater enlightenment, so might be related to the concept of experiencing an epiphany.


20. Stats: Seventeen years between research and practice (November 2, 2005). I attended an excellent talk by one of the nurses at CMH on the problems with implementing quality improvement initiatives in health care. She cited an interesting statistics, that it takes an average of 17 years for research findings to be implemented in clinical practice. I asked her for the source of this statistic, and she found several references to an article: Managing clinical knowledge for health care improvement. Balas EA, Boren SA. In: Yearbook of Medical Informatics 2000: Patient-Centered Systems. Stuttgart, Germany: Schattauer; 2000:65-70.

19. Stats: Science mentoring (September 12, 2005). I received an email notice through the Kansas/Western Missouri chapter of the American Statistical Association about "Meet the Science Mentor Day." This is a half day workshop in the Kansas City area that allows students working  to talk to professional scientists to get advice on possible science fair projects.

18. Stats: What alternative medicine can teach us about evidence-based medicine (August 23, 2005). This is a rough outline of a seminar I will present in a couple of days. It incorporates material from another talk, Is the randomized trial the gold standard for research? The title of this talk seems to be backwards.

17. Stats: Overview of evidence-based-medicine (July 29, 2005). The Archives of Disease in Childhood has a series of articles on evidence-based Medicine.

16. Stats: Changes to STAT-L/sci.stat.consult (May 25, 2005). Many years ago, I volunteered to develop a frequently asked questions (FAQ) list for the email discussion group, STAT-L. This list is hosted at McGill University and run under the capable leadership of Michael Walsh.

15. Stats: MedStats discussion group (April 25, 2005). If you don't get enough email already, a new discussion group, MedStats, was created recently. MedStats is hosted on Google Groups. The main page for MedStats is groups.google.com/group/MedStats and details about the list appear at groups.google.com/group/MedStats/about.

14. Stats: MedStats discussion group (April 25, 2005). If you don't get enough email already, a new discussion group, MedStats, was created recently. MedStats is hosted on Google Groups. The main page for MedStats is groups-beta.google.com/group/MedStats and details about the list appear at groups-beta.google.com/group/MedStats/about.

13. Stats: More on the top ten studies in EBM (February 28, 2005). I may never get this paper done, but the effort is still worthwhile in that I am learning a lot. I rediscovered a wonderful web page developed by Ben Djulbegovic, Randomized trials that changed medical practice, which along with Non-randomized trials that changed medical practice lists research studies that have changed how we practice medicine.

12. Stats: Developing good practice guidelines (February 18, 2005). A physician here, Lloyd Olson, who has been aggressively promoting Evidence Based Medicine suggested the following interesting article on practice guidelines, Are guidelines following guidelines? The methodological quality of clinical practice guidelines in the peer-reviewed medical literature. Shaneyfelt TM, Mayo-Smith MF, Rothwangl J. Jama 1999: 281(20); 1900-5.

11. Stats: Report cards (February 16, 2005). The Minnesota Department of Health recently published a report, Minnesota hospitals' report on "never events" released. Robeznieks A, Published in Amercian Medical News on February 21, 2005. Accessed on 2005-02-16. www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/02/21/prsc0221.htm, that documenting 99 events occurring in Minnesota hospitals that should never occur. This included things like wrong-site surgery, pressure ulcers, and misuse of medical devices. Among these events, 20 resulted in a patient death. This is an example of the increasing demand that hospitals and other health care organizations produce "report cards" that tell the public how well or poorly they are doing.

10. Stats: Another top ten study in EBM (February 14, 2005). Here's another nomination for the top ten studies in EBM. One of the pitfalls of research evaluating diagnostic tests is spectrum bias, and this was noted as early as 1978 in Problems of spectrum and bias in evaluating the efficacy of diagnostic tests. Ransohoff DF, Feinstein AR. N Engl J Med 1978: 299(17); 926-30.

9. Stats: Best EBM methods or teaching papers in 2004 (February 3, 2005). Paul Glasziou compiled a list for the best EBM papers in 2004. These papers had to deal with either methods for EBM or teaching of EBM. Here is the list.

8. Stats: Ten research studies that anyone teaching EBM should be familiar with (January 17, 2005). When I get a chance, I want to write a paper with a title along the lines of "Ten research studies that anyone teaching EBM should be familiar with". These would be studies that are well known in the research community; actual research studies (as opposed to editorials); and illustrative of important issues in EBM. One of the studies would be: A close look at therapeutic touch. Rosa L, Rosa E, Sarner L, Barrett S. Jama 1998: 279(13); 1005-10.


7. Stats: Top six mistakes in teaching EBM (September 24, 2004). I attended a lunch roundtable session on the role of statisticians in teaching Evidence-Based practice to future clinicians. I didn't get a chance to write up a summary of this, but I wanted to share a handout that the roundtable leader, Renee Stolove, shared with the group.

6. Stats: International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (September 10, 2004). Donald Lollar presented a seminar: "The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF)." The ICF is a framework for classifying health status that complements ICD codes.

5. Stats: Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (June 15, 2004). There's a new journal out with free full text on the web. It is Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine and is published by Oxford Journals online. I find that CAM makes for interesting teaching examples because students are willing to be extra skeptical for these studies and don't passively and uncritically accept the findings on CAM research.

4. Stats: Evidence Based lessons learned from Cardiology (March 18, 2004). There was a nice series of articles in the journal Circulation that appeared in 2002 with free full text online. These articles offer specific lessons about evidence-based medicine.

3. Stats: Statistical consulting (June 14, 2004). Most training programs in Statistics do a good job in emphasizing the various tools that you will need, but it is much harder to teach the nonstatistical aspects of statistical consulting.

2. Stats: Evidence Based Medicine and Ethics (February 20, 2004). The Journal of Medical Ethics has a series of articles about ethics and evidence based medicine. These are pre-prints of articles under review and you can prepare a response to these articles. I found the article "Ethical problems arising in evidencebased complementary and alternative medicine" Edzard Ernst, Michael H. Cohen, Julie Stone to be especially intriguing.

1. Stats: Educational Resources (February 3, 2004). Someone posed a question on the IRB Discussion forum wondering if there was a source of free materials "that we can email or distribute as hardcopy to our study coordinators and other research staff to help them keep up to date on issues relevant to human subjects research." There's a lot of good stuff on the web, I wrote back, but you have to live with uneven quality, partisan viewpoints, and there is no one to collate and synthesize the results.

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