Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course, students should be able: - to understand that statistics are a keystone in the clinical research methodology; - to read a biomedical basic scientific article, understanding its structure; - to manage a simple clinical database (see further details in the course of data processing).
Basic knowledge of mathematics and English. The course will use the Platform Elly (elly.medicina.unipr.it). Students will have specific training about it.
Course contents summary
The course is strictly related to medical statistics, which will be done simultaneously. Definition of statistics. The types of biostatistical studies. Descriptive statistics: qualitative and quantitative variables. Measures of central tendency, dispersion, symmetry for quantitative variables. Arithmetic mean , median, mode. The normal and non-normal distribution. Skewness and Kurtosis. Kolmogorov-Smirnov’s e Shapiro-Wilk’s tests. Elements about binomial and Poisson distributions. Parametric and Non-Parametric Inferential statistics. The sampling theory and central limit theorem. Hypothesis test on a mean. Constraints and degrees of freedom. T-Student distribution. Repeated and independent measures t-student test. Non-parametric test. The rank. Mann-Whitney’s and Wilkoxon’s tests. The frequency for categorical/qualitative variables. The sampling of categorical variables. 2*2 contingency tables. Chi-square test for independent data. Screening test: prevalence, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, LR+/-. Difference between correlation and regression. Simple linear regression. Correlation coefficient R. Pearson’s and Speraman’s tests.
Classroom slides (uploaded on Elly after 2/3 of the course) and the study material uploaded on Elly are the reference point for the exam. Some further reference books: SA Glantz - Statistica per discipline biomediche - McGraw-Hill.
This course is parallel to that of data processing and comprehends both frontal lessons and the use of educational material on Elly for personal study (e-learning). During the frontal lessons, the arguments of the
course will be explained and commented. However, a part of the teaching hours will be used to comment and discuss with the students the on-line material, which will comprehend practical examples, explanations about the use of freeware software/SPSS/Excel, and comments about recent scientific articles. Therefore, each theoretical argument with mathematical formulae will be explained by using simple and practical
examples, so that students may focus on basic concepts more than on the formulae. Several technical terms will be used both in Italian and in English, so that the student can read on his own the international scientific literature, particularly in the field of clinical medicine.
Assessment methods and criteria
The evaluation of the students will be formative, as the aptitude test in medical statistics and data processing will be done in more than one step during the course, without a final test. The tests will be at least two and will be performed by students on-line on Elly platform at fixed dates and hours. They contain multiple response quiz and critical comments/discussions on themes/examples from literature explained both during the lessons and in e-learning. If a student prefers a summative evaluation and/or does not pass the formative evaluation, he/she can do a final overall test on all the arguments treated during the course and a critical analysis of a scientific clinical text. The formation of small working groups is encouraged.