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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: December 2009

Preface

Summary

Preface to the second edition

In the second edition of Medical Statistics from A to Z I have added many new definitions and taken the opportunity to correct and clarify a number of entries. More references are also provided that point readers to more detailed accounts of topics.

Preface to the first edition

Clinicians, research workers in the health sciences, and even medical students often encounter terms from medical statistics and related areas in their work, particularly when reading medical journals and other relevant literature. The aim of this guide is to provide such people with nontechnical definitions of many such terms. Consequently, no mathematical nomenclature or formulae are used in the definitions. Those readers interested in such material will be able to find it in one of the many standard statistical texts now available and in The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics. In addition, readers seeking more information about a particular topic will hopefully find the references given with the majority of entries of some help; whenever possible, these involve medical rather than statistical journals, and introductory statistical texts rather than those that are more advanced. (References are not given for terms such as mean, variance and critical region for which further details are easily available in most introductory medical statistics texts.) Several forms of cross-referencing are used. Terms in courier new appear as a separate headword elsewhere in the dictionary, although this procedure is used in a relatively limited way with headwords defining frequently occurring terms such as random variable, probability and sample not referred to in this way.