HAR6042: Introduction to Statistics and Critical Appraisal (online)


Introduction

The module will introduce students to basic concepts and techniques such as hypothesis testing and confidence interval estimation in statistics. Students will learn some simple statistical methods and the principles behind some advanced methods such as regression. It will equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and critically appraise statistics in the research literature.

Objectives

  • To introduce students to fundamental concepts and methods in medical statistics.
  • To enable students to apply these concepts to critically appraise research literature.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, a student will be able to:

  • Classify and appropriately display and summarise different types of data.
  • Describe the properties of the Normal distribution.
  • Distinguish between a population and a sample, and describe the precision of a sample estimate of a population parameter.
  • Explain the concept of confidence intervals as applied to means, proportions, differences in means, and differences in proportions.
  • Describe the process of setting and testing statistical hypothesis.
  • Distinguish between ‘statistical significance’ and ‘clinical significance’.
  • Evaluate the quality of published research.

Teaching Methods

A mixture of online tutorials, asynchronous moderated discussion groups and other interactive methods will be used to impart knowledge of key statistical concepts and methods, while structured exercise classes will apply these concepts to critically appraise research literature.

Assessment Details

Student knowledge and understanding of the applications of the statistical concepts and techniques taught will be assessed through:

Assessment 1. Three structured online exercises throughout the teaching block will address materials introduced in the lectures. This will allow a summative assessment of knowledge and application of basic concepts and the critical appraisal of the statistical content of published research literature.

Assessment 2.  A three-hour unseen written examination. This will allow a summative assessment of knowledge and application of basic concepts and the critical appraisal of the statistical content of published research literature.