Who is the course for?

This is an introductory/intermediate course for anyone who would like to understand more about the statistical tests that are reported in many medical journals; when are they appropriate to use? The course is divided into two parts, and it covers the statistical concepts and methods required for describing and analysing various types of data arising in studies of different designs. The use of specific statistical packages will not be covered.

Course description

The course covers important concepts such as confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, as well as issues such as the use of subgroup analysis in trials, and how to deal with confounding in observational studies. Standard statistics (means and odds ratios) will be described as well as appropriate situations for their use. Commonly used statistical techniques, such as simple uni-variate tests (t-test, chi-squared test), and multiple variable methods (linear regression and logistic regression) will be introduced using examples.

This course will include the following:

  • Summarising and describing data
  • The meaning of 95% confidence intervals
  • The purpose and principles of hypothesis tests
  • Tests involving two variables
  • Parametric and non-parametric tests (t-tests, Mann-Whitney test)
  • Confounding: what is it and how to deal with it
  • Analysing continuous data and the t-test
  • Linear regression
  • Analysis of covariance
  • Analysing categorical data and the chi-squared test
  • Logistic regression for binary outcomes
  • Choosing the correct statistical test
  • Issues with multiplicity (Sub-Groups and Interim Analysis).

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Distinguish different types of data and designs
  • Summarise data appropriately
  • Understand the concepts of hypothesis testing and confidence intervals
  • Choose from a range of statistical methods
  • Interpret results and draw conclusions more carefully from sample data.

About the trainers

Dr Abdel Douiri will teach the first part of the course and Dr Salma Ayis will teach the second part. Both Senior Lectures in Medical Statistics in the School of Medicine, King’s College London, and are experienced in consulting with clinical researchers. Salma is the Director for the Master of Public Health Programme. Abdel is the module lead of Further Statistics and Epidemiology for Master of Public Health.