Statistics in Medicine


  • Robert Riffenburgh, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California, U.S.A.

Statistics in Medicine, Third Edition makes medical statistics easy to understand by students, practicing physicians, and researchers. The book begins with databases from clinical medicine and uses such data to give multiple worked-out illustrations of every method. The text opens with how to plan studies from conception to publication and what to do with your data, and follows with step-by-step instructions for biostatistical methods from the simplest levels (averages, bar charts) progressively to the more sophisticated methods now being seen in medical articles (multiple regression, noninferiority testing). Examples are given from almost every medical specialty and from dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and health care management. A preliminary guide is given to tailor sections of the text to various lengths of biostatistical courses.
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Primary: Clinicians (in all areas of medicine, dentistry, and veterinary) who plan to conduct medical research or at least read and understand research results. Secondary: medical students, fellows and biomedical graduate students taking biostatistics courses for non-statisticians; professors of medical statistics and biostatistics (who are themselves medical statisticians and biostatisticians)


Book information

  • Published: July 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-384864-2


"…a highly recommended book that is ideally suited for clinicians who require a strong foundation of statistics...The chapter on modeling concepts and methods and the chapter on clinical decision based on models are both extremely important for those medical professionals and researchers who work with clinical trials…a very good choice for an easily understood, yet comprehensive textbook to accompany a course on the subject, as well as a textbook for individual learning."--Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, April 2, 2013
"...if you want a single volume that covers statistics in medicine, you can stop looking…The book is written in a practical and common-sense manner…"--Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices, March 2013
"…there are many clear and varied examples with just enough equations and images to serve their purpose.  For those of us who learn by walking through a problem, this book is a joy…Dr. Riffenburgh’s text can be a welcome addition to any collection of statistics books."--Laboratory Animal Practitioner, 46(3): 2013
"This is an excellent resource and reference for students, teachers, and medical professionals. It is also an excellent tool for medical investigators on how to plan and design medical research and how to interpret medical literature in this evidence-based medicine era.", June 7, 2013


"Statistics in Medicine, Third Edition makes medical statistics easy to understand for students, practicing physicians, and researchers…Examples are given from almost every medical specialty and from dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, and health care management.", April 24, 2013
"I teach MPH, Preventive Medicine residents, Clinical Science and Population Health Science students. I currently use Statistics in Medicine, 2nd Ed…and now am quite fond of it. Its strength is a pedagogical trick of covering the material first at a high level (30,000 ft) and then in detail….My students like the text."
--Daniel Freeman, PhD, Professor, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston TX.
"It is very difficult to avoid much of the basic mathematics without losing some of the important concepts and foundation to the subject. Many authors that try, fail miserably. Riffenburgh [has] carefully crafted a text that succeeds in this goal. I consider Riffenburgh's book to be a great choice especially for a two quarter or two semester course."--Michael Chernick, PhD, Director of Biostatistical Services, Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Arlington VA.
"About 90% of statistical analysis uses about 30% of the statistical methods, says Riffenburgh (Naval Medical Center San Diego, California), and those are the methods he devotes his attention to. In a textbook for a first course in statistics for future clinicians (not future mathematicians) he explains the procedures step-by-step with many clinical examples. Among the methods are confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, categorical data, and epidemiological method. He also discusses managing results of analysis, questionnaires and surveys, survival analysis, and logistic regression. The 15 databases he uses are available online. Earlier editions were published in 1999 and 2006. Academic Press is an imprint of Elsevier."--Reference and Research Book News, October 2012


"...the author presents statistical concepts in fairly simple language and in a format that will make it especially appealing to a clinician...All clinicians will find this book useful, whether they are students, residents, or practitioners...particularly helpful to clinicians who do not have the time or interest in getting comprehensive training in biostatistics, yet need to understand and use these concepts in their professional careers...particularly useful are the illustrations and examples, exercises along with their answers, appendixes, and use of real data. Formulas are explained clearly, in a step-by-step fashion...This is one of the few books that presents hard to understand statistical concepts applied to real-world medical data in a relatively simple manner. The second edition expands on the first and includes more advanced topics as well as current concepts."--DOODY Enterprises, Inc.
"This book is excellent value for the clinician who wants to evaluate the research (s)he reads and for those who carry out research."--Margaret Moss, UK, for JOURNAL OF NUTRITIONAL & ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE

"I congratulate Dr. Riffenburgh on his career as a medical statistician and for this useful text/reference book, which I commend to all who teach statistics to students in the health-related fields and to all who are engaged in or are consumers of health-related research."--W.M.(Mike) O'Fallon, Professor Emeritus and former Head of Biostatistics and Chair of the Dept. of Health Science Research, Mayo Clinic

"This user-friendly text is laid out in a practical fashion that includes numerous examples for applying complex tests. This book is complete enough for even the hard core bioresearcher."--Richard A. Hill, University of California-Irvine
"Statistics can be overwhelming for the health professional and Dr. Riffenburgh gives them the tools to make preparing proposals using statistical applications easy. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any professional, novice or seasoned, involved in the research process."--Capt. Peggy McNulty, U.S. Naval Health Clinic, Hawaii

Table of Contents

Databases Foreword 3rd EditionForeword 2nd EditionForeword First EditionAcknowledgmentsHow to Use this BookSection 11. Planning Studies: From Design to Publication 2. Planning Analysis: What Do I Do with my Data?3. Probability and Relative Frequency Distributions4. Distributions5. Descriptive Statistics6. Finding Probabilities of Error7. Confidence Intervals8. Hypothesis Testing: Concept and Practice9. Tests on Categorical Data10. Risks, Odds, and ROC Curves11. Tests on Ranked Data 12. Tests on Means of Continuous Data13. Multi-Factor ANOVA and ANCOVA14. Tests on Variability and Distributions15. Managing Results of Analysis16. Equivalence Testing17. Bayesian Statistics18. Sample Size Estimation and Meta-Analysis19. Modeling Concepts and Methods20. Clinical Decisions Based on Models21. Regression and Correlation22. Multiple and Curvilinear Regression 23. Survival, Logistic Regression, and Cox Regression24. Sequential Analysis and Time Series 25. Epidemiology26. Measuring Association and Agreement27. Questionnaires and Surveys28. Methods You Might Meet, But Not Every DayReferences and Data SourcesTables of Probability Distributions