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"Statistics are simply tools that researchers employ to help answer research

questions."

Page 1, 2, 3, 4 Next

http://currentnursing.com/nursing_education/nursing_education_in_india.html

• Measurement

• Population, Variable, Sample

• Hypothesis

• Types of errors

• Statistical Power

• Sampling

• Descriptive Statistics

• Inferential statistics

• Parametric and Non-parametric Tests

• Appropriate Statistical tests

• Common Statistical tests

• Multivariate Analysis

• Tips on Choosing the appropriate test

• Computer Aided Analysis

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Introduction

As the context of health care is changing due to the pharmaceutical services and

technological advances, nurses and other health care professionals need to be prepared to

respond in knowledgeable and practical ways. Health information is very often explained

in statistical terms for making it concise and understandable. Statistics plays a vitally

important role in the research. Statistics help to answer important research questions and

it is the answers to such questions that further our understanding of the field and provide

for academic study. It is required the researcher to have an understanding of what tools

are suitable for a particular research study. It is essential for healthcare professionals to

have a basic understanding of basic concepts of statistics as it enables them to read and

evaluate reports and other literature and to take independent research investigations by

selecting the most appropriate statistical test for their problems. The purpose of analyzing

data in a study is to describe the data in meaningful terms.

Descriptive approach and inferential approach

Depending on the kinds of variables identified (nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio) and

the design of particular study, a number of statistical techniques is available to analyze

data. There are two approaches to the statistical analysis of data the descriptive approach

and inferential approach. Descriptive statistics convert data into picture of the

information that is readily understandable. The inferential approach helps to decide

whether the outcome of the study is a result of factors planned within design of the study

or determined by chance. The two approaches are often used sequentially in that first,

data are described with descriptive statistics, and then additional statistical manipulations

are done to make inferences about the likelihood that the outcome was due to chance

through inferential statistics. When descriptive approach is used, terms like mean,

median, mode, variation, and standard deviation are used to communicate the analysis

information of data. When inferential approach is used, probability values (P) are used to

communicate the significance or lack of significance of the results (Streiner & Norman,

1996).

Measurement

Regardless of the variables under study, in order to make sense out of data collected, each

variable must be measured in such a way that its magnitude or quantity must be clearly

identified. The specific strategy for a particular study depends upon the particular

research problem, the sample under study, the availability of instruments, and the general

feasibility of the project (Brockopp & Hastings-Tolsma, 2003). A variety of measurement

methods are available for use in nursing research. Four measurement scales are used:

nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio.

The nominal level of measurement is the most primitive or lowest level of classifying

information. Nominal variables include categories of people, events, and other

phenomena are named, are exhaustive in nature, and are mutually exclusive. These

categories are discrete and noncontinous. In case of nominal measurement admissible

statistical operation are counting of frequency, percentage, proportion, mode, and

coefficient of contingency.

classifying information. Ordinal implies that the values of variables can be rank-ordered

from highest to lowest.

Interval Level of Measurement

equidistant from one point to the other. The interval data does not have an absolute zero.

For example, temperature is measured in Celsius or Fahrenheit. Interval level of

measurement refers to the third level of measurement in relation to complexity of

statistical techniques that can be used to analyze data. Variables with in this level of

measurement are assessed incrementally, and the increments are equal.

with equal distances between the increments and a scale that has an absolute zero. Ratio

variables exhibit the characteristics of ordinal and interval measurement and can also be

compared by describing it as two or three times another number or as one-third, one-

quarter, and so on. Variable like time, length and weight are ratio scales and also be

measured using nominal or ordinal scale. The mathematical properties of interval and

ratio scales are very similar, so the statistical procedures are common for both the scales.

Errors of measurement

When a variable is measured there is the potential for errors to occur. Some of the

sources of errors in measurement are, instrument clarity, variations in administrations,

situational variations, response set bias, transitory personal factors, response sampling,

and instrument format.

particular context. The population is the entire group of persons or objects that is of

interest to the investigator. In statistics population means, any collection of individual

items or units that is the subject of investigation. Population refers to the collection of all

items upon which statements will be based. This might include all patients with

schizophrenia in a particular hospital, or all depressed individuals in a certain community.

Characteristics of a population that differ form individual to individual are called

variables. A variable is a concept (construct) that has been so specifically defined that

precise observations and therefore measurement can be accomplished. Length, age,

weight, temperature, pulse rate are a few examples of variables.

research study. A sample refers to a subset of observations selected from the population.

It might be unusual for an investigator to describe only patients with schizophrenia in a

particular hospital and it is unlikely that an investigator will measure every depressed

person in a community. As it is rarely practicable to obtain measures of a particular

variable from all the units in population, the investigator has to collect information from a

smaller group or sub-set that represents the group as a whole. This sub-set is called a

sample. Each unit in the sample provides a record, such as measurement, which is called

an observation. The sample represents the population of those critical characteristics the

investigator plan to study.

effect. The independent variable is one which explains or accounts for variations in the

dependent variable. An independent variable is one whose change results in change in

other variable. In experiments, the independent variable is the variable manipulated by

the experimenter. A dependent variable is one which changes in relationship to changes

in another variable. A variable which is dependent in one study may be independent in

another. Intervening variable is one that comes between the independent and dependent

variable.

Hypothesis

based on logical rationale and has empirical possibilities for testing. Hypothesis is

formulated in experimental research. In some non-experimental correlational studies,

hypothesis may also be developed. Normally, there are four elements in a hypothesis:

• (2) some type of relationship between independent and dependent variable,

• (3) the direction of the change, and

• (4) it mentions about the subjects, i.e. population being studied.

It is defined as “A tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or

empirical consequences” (Webster 1968).

• It should be specific and precise.

• The statements in the hypothesis should not be contradictory.

• It should specify variables between which the relationship to be established

• It should describe one issue only.

Characteristics of a Hypothesis

• It is testable

• It is logical

• It is directly related to the research problem

• It is factually or theoretically based

• It states a relationship between variables

• It is stated in such a form that it can be accepted or rejected

hypothesis simply states that there will be difference between the groups. There can be

two hypotheses, research hypothesis and null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is formed

for the statistical purpose of negating it. If the research hypothesis states there is positive

correlation between smoking and cancer, the null hypothesis states there is no relation

between smoking and cancer. It is easy to negate a statement than establishing it.

The null hypothesis is statistical statement that there is no difference between the groups

under study. A statistical test is used to determine the probability that the null hypothesis

is not true and rejected, i.e. inferential statistics are used in an effort to reject the null,

thereby showing that a deference does exists. The null hypothesis is a technical necessity

when using inferential statistics, based on statistical significance which is used as

criterion.

Types of errors

When the null hypothesis is rejected, the observed differences between groups are

deemed improbable by chance alone. For example, if drug A is compared to a placebo for

its effects on depression and the null hypothesis is rejected, the investigator concludes

that the observed differences most likely are not explainable simply by sampling error.

The key word in these statements is probable. When offering this conclusion, the

investigator has the odds on his or her side. However, what are the chances of the

statement being incorrect?

In statistical inference there is no way to say with certainty that rejection or retention of

the null hypothesis was correct. There are two types of potential errors. A type I error

occurs when the null hypothesis is rejected when indeed it should have been retained; a

type II error occurs if the null hypothesis is retained when indeed it should have been

rejected.

Type I Error

Type I errors occur when the null hypothesis is rejected but should have been retained,

such as when a researcher decides that two means are different. He or she might conclude

that the treatment works or those groups are not sampled from the same population

whereas in reality the observed differences are attributable only to sampling error. In a

conservative scientific setting, type I errors should be made rarely. There is a great

disadvantage to advocating treatments that really do not work.

The probability of a type I error is denoted with the Greek letter alpha (a). Because of the

desire to avoid type I errors, statistical models have been created so that the investigator

has control over the probability of a type I error. At the .05 significance or alpha level, a

type I error is expected to occur in 5 percent of all cases. At the .01 level, it may occur in

1 percent of all cases. Thus, at the .05 a level, one type I error is expected to be made in

each of 20 independent tests. At the .01 a level, one type I error is expected to be made in

each 100 independent tests.

Type II Error

The motivation to avoid a type I error might increase the probability of making a second

type of error. In this case the null hypothesis is retained when it actually was wrong. For

example, an investigator may reach the conclusion that a treatment does not work when

actually it is efficacious. The probability of a type II error is symbolized by the Greek

capital letter beta (B). Here the decision is not to reject the null hypothesis when in

actuality the null hypothesis was false. This is a type II error with the probability of beta

(B).

Statistical Power

There are several maneuvers that will increase control over the probability of different

types of errors and correct decisions. One type of correct decision is the probability of

rejecting the null hypothesis and being correct in that decision. Power is defined as the

probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it should have been rejected. Ultimately,

the statistical evaluation will be more meaningful if it has high power.

It is particularly important to have high statistical power when the null hypothesis is

retained. Retaining the null hypothesis with high power gives the investigator more

confidence in stating that differences between groups were non-significant. One factor

that affects the power is the sample size. As the sample size increases, power increases.

The larger the sample, greater the probability that a correct decision will be made in

rejecting or retaining the null hypothesis.

Another factor that influences power is the significance level. As significance increases,

the power increases. For instance, if the .05 level is selected rather than the .01 level,

there will be a greater chance of rejecting the null hypothesis. However, there will also be

a higher probability of a type I error. By reducing the chances of a type I error, the

chances of correctly identifying the real difference (power) are also reduced. Thus, the

safest manipulation to affect power without affecting the probability of a type I error is to

increase the sample size.

The third factor affecting power is effect size. The larger the true differences between

two groups, the greater the power. Experiments attempting to detect a very strong effect,

such as the impact of a very potent treatment, might have substantial power even with

small sample sizes. The detection of subtle effects may require very large samples in

order to achieve reasonable statistical power. It is worth noting that not all statistical tests

have equal power. The probability of correctly rejecting the null hypothesis is higher with

some statistical methods than with others. For example, nonparametric statistics are

typically less powerful than parametric statistics, for example.

Sampling

The process of selecting a fraction of the sampling unit (i.e. a collection with specified

dimensions) of the target population for inclusion in the study is called sampling.

Sampling can be probability sampling or non-probability sampling.

Probability sampling, also called random sampling, is a selection process that ensures

each participant the same probability of being selected. Probability sampling is the

process of selecting samples based on probability theory. Probability theory states that

possibility that events occur by chance. Random sampling is the best method for ensuring

that a sample is representative of the larger population. Random sampling can be simple

random sampling, stratified random sampling, and cluster sampling.

Nonprobability sampling

Nonprobability sampling is the selection process in which the probability that any one

individual or subject selected is not equal to the probability that another individual or

subject may be chosen. The probability of inclusion and the degree to which the sample

represents the population are unknown. The major problem with nonprobability sampling

is that sampling bias can occur. Nonprobability sampling can be convenience sampling,

purposive sampling or quota sampling.

Sampling Error (Standard Error)

Sampling error refers to the discrepancies that inevitably occur when a small group

(sample) is selected to represent the characteristics of a larger group (population). It is

defined as the deference between a parameter and an estimate of that parameter which is

derived from a sample (Lindquist, 1968:8). The means and standard deviations calculated

from the data collected on a given sample would not be the same as those calculations

derived from data collected from the entire population. It is the discrepancy between the

characteristics of the sample and the population that constitutes sampling error.

Descriptive statistics

Descriptive statistics are techniques which help the investigator to organize, summarize

and describe measures of a sample. Here no predictions or inferences are made regarding

population parameters. Descriptive statistics are used to summarize observations and to

place these observations within context. The most common descriptive statistics include

measures of central tendency and measures of variability.

There are three commonly used measures of central tendency: the mean, the median, and

the mode- are calculated to identify the average, the most typical and the most common

values, respectively among the data collected. The mean is the arithmetic average, the

median is the point representing the 50th percentile in a distribution, and the mode is the

most common score. Sometimes each of these measures is the same; on other occasions,

the mean, the median, and the mode can be different. The mean, median, and mode are

the same when the distribution of scores is normal. Under most circumstances the mean,

median, and mode will not be exactly the same. The mode is most likely to misrepresent

the underlying distribution and is rarely used in statistical analysis. The mean and the

median are the most commonly reported measures of central tendency.

The major consideration in choosing between them is how much weight should be given

to extreme scores. The mean takes into account each score in the distribution; the median

finds only the halfway point. As mean best represents all subjects and because of

desirable mathematical properties, the mean is typically favored in statistical analysis.

Despite the advantages of the mean, there are also some advantages to the median. In

particular, the median disregards outlier cases, whereas the mean moves further in the

direction of the outliers. Thus, the median is often used when the investigator does not

want scores in the extreme of the distribution to have a strong impact. The median is also

valuable for summarizing data for a measure that might be insensitive toward the higher

ranges of the scale. For instance, a very easy test may have a ceiling effect but does not

show the true ability of some test-takers. A ceiling effect occurs when the test is too easy

to measure the true ability of the best students. Thus, if some scores stack up at the

extreme, the median may be more accurate than the mean. If the high scores had not been

bounded by the highest obtainable score, the mean may actually have been higher.

The mean, median, and mode are exactly the same in a normal distribution. However, not

all distributions of scores have a normal or bell-shaped appearance. The highest point in a

distribution of scores is called the modal peak. A distribution with the modal peak off to

one side or the other is described as skewed. The word skew literally means "slanted."

The direction of skew is determined by the location of the tail or flat area of the

distribution. Positive skew occurs when the tail goes off to the right of the distribution.

Negative skew occurs when the tail or low point is on the left side of the distribution. The

mode is the most frequent score in the distribution. In a skewed distribution, the mode

remains at the peak whereas the mean and the median shift away from the mode in the

direction of the skewness. The mean moves furthest in the direction of the skewness, and

the median typically falls between the mean and the mode. Mode is the best measure of

central tendency when nominal variables are used. Median is the best measure of central

tendency when ordinal variables are used. Mean is the best measure of central tendency

when interval or ratio scales are used.

Measures of Variability

If there is no variability within populations there would be no need for statistics: a single

item or sampling unit would tell us all that is needed to know about the population as a

whole. Three indices are used to measure variation or dispersion among scores: (1) range,

(2) variance, and (3) standard deviation (Cozby, 2000). The range describes the deference

between the largest and smallest observations made: the variance and standard deviation

are based on average difference or deviation of observations from the mean.

Measures of central tendency, such as the mean and median, are used to summarize

information. They are important because they provide information about the average

score in the distribution. Knowing the average score, however, does not provide all the

information required to describe a group of scores. In addition, measures of variability

are required. The simplest method of describing variability is the range, which is simply

the difference between the highest score and lowest score.

Another statistic, known as the interquartile range, describes the interval of scores

bounded by the 25th and 75th percentile ranks; the interquartile range is bounded by the

range of scores that represent the middle 50 percent of the distribution. In contrast to

ranges, which are used infrequently in statistical analysis, the variance and standard

deviation are used commonly. Since the mean is the average score in a distribution, the

sum of the deviations around the mean will always equal zero. Yet, in order to understand

the characteristic of a distribution of scores, some estimation of deviation around the

mean is important. The sum of these deviations will always equal zero. However, the

squared deviations around the mean can yield a meaningful index. The variance is the

sum of the squared deviations around the mean divided by the number of cases.

Range

Range is the simplest method of examining variation among scores and refers to the

difference between the highest and lowest values produced. It shows how wide the

distribution is over which the measurements are spread. For continuous variables, the

range is the arithmetic difference between the highest and lowest observations in the

sample. In the case of counts or measurements, 1 should be added to the difference

because the range is inclusive of the extreme observations.. The range takes account of

only the most extreme observations. It is therefore limited in its usefulness, because it

gives no information about how observations are distributed. Interquartile range is the

area between the lowest quartile and the highest quartile, or the middle 50% of the scores

Variance

The variance is a very useful statistic and is commonly employed in data analysis.

However, its calculation requires finding the squared deviations around the mean rather

than the simple or absolute deviations around the mean. Thus, when the variance is

calculated, the resulting calculation will be in units that are the natural squared units.

Taking the square root of the variance puts the observations back into their original

metric. The square root of the variance is known as the standard deviation. The standard

deviation is an approximation of the average deviation around the mean. Although the

standard deviation is not technically equal to the average deviation, it gives an

approximation of how much the average score deviates from the mean. One method for

calculating variance is to first calculate the deviation scores. The sum of the set of

deviation score equal to zero. Variance is the squire of the standard deviation:

conversely, a standard deviation is the squire root of the variance. The deviation of a

distribution of scores can then be used to calculate the variance.

Standard Deviation

The standard deviation is the most widely applied measure of variability. When

observations have been obtained from every item or sampling unit in a population, the

symbol for the standard deviation is (lower case sigma). This is parameter of the

population. When it is calculated from a sample it is symbolized s. Standard deviation of

a distribution of scores is the squire root of the variance. Large standard deviations

suggest that scores do not cluster around the mean: they are probably widely scattered.

Similarly small standards deviations suggest that there is very little deference among

scores.

Normal Distribution

occurring observations follow a given pattern. The pattern is the normal curve, which

places most observations at the mean and lesser number of observations at either extreme.

This curve or bell-shaped distribution reflects the tendency of the observations

concerning a specific variable to cluster in a particular manner

The normal curve can be described for any set of data given the mean and standard

deviation of the data and assumptions that the characteristics under study would be

normally distributed within the population. A normal distribution of the data suggests that

68% of observations fall within one standard deviation of the mean, 95% fall within two

standard deviations of the mean, and 99.87% fall within three standard deviations of the

mean. Theoretically range of the curve is unlimited.

Standard Scores

One of the problems with means and standard deviations is that their meanings are not

independent of context. For example, a mean of 45.6 means little unless the score is

known. The Z-score is a transformation into standardized units that provides a context for

the interpretation of scores. The Z-score is the difference between the score and the mean,

divided by the standard deviation. To make comparisons between groups, standard scores

rather than raw scores can be used. Standard scores enable the investigator to examine

the position of a given score by measuring its mean deviation from the means of all sores.

Most often, the units on the x axis of the normal distribution are in Z-units. Any variable

transformed into Z-units will have a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1. Translation

of Z-scores into percentile ranks is accomplished using a table for the standard normal

distribution. Certain Z-scores are of particular interest in statistics and psychological

testing. The Z-score 1.96 represents the 97.5th percentile in a distribution whereas -1.96

represents the 2.5th percentile. A Z-score of less than -1.96 or greater than +1.96 falls

outside of a 95 percent interval bounding the mean of the Z-distribution. Some statistical

definitions of abnormality view these defined deviations as cutoff points. Thus, a person

who is more than 1.96 Z-scores from the mean on some attribute might be regarded as

abnormal. In addition to the interval bounded by 95 percent of the cases, the interval

including 99 percent of all cases is also commonly used in statistics.

Confidence Intervals

In most statistical inference problems the sample mean is used to estimate the population

mean. Each sample mean is considered to be an unbiased estimate of the population

mean. Although the sample mean is unlikely to be exactly the same as the population

mean, repeated random samples will form a sampling distribution of sample means. The

mean of the sampling distribution is an unbiased estimate of the population mean.

However, taking repeated random samples from the population is also difficult and

expensive. Instead, it is necessary to estimate the population mean based on a single

sample; this is done by creating an interval around the sample mean.

The first step in creating this interval is finding the standard error of the mean. The

standard error of the mean is the standard deviation divided by the square root of the

sample size. Statistical inference is used to estimate the probability that the population

mean will fall within some defined interval. Because sample means are distributed

normally around the population mean, the sample mean is most probably near the

population value. However, it is possible that the sample mean is an overestimate or an

underestimate of the population mean. Using information about the standard error of the

mean, it is possible to put a single observation of a mean into context.

The ranges that are likely to capture the population mean are called confidence intervals.

Confidence intervals are bounded by confidence limits. The confidence interval is

defined as a range of values with a specified probability of including the population

mean. A confidence interval is typically associated with a certain probability level. For

example, the 95 percent confidence interval has a 95 percent chance of including the

population mean. A 99 percent confidence interval is expected to capture the true mean in

99 of each 100 cases. The confidence limits are defined as the values for points that

bound the confidence interval.Creating a confidence interval requires a mean, a standard

error of the mean, and the Z-value associated with the interval.

Inferential statistics

Inferential statistics are mathematical procedures which help the investigator to predict or

infer population parameters from sample measures. This is done by a process of inductive

reasoning based on the mathematical theory of probability (Fowler, J., Jarvis, P. &

Chevannes M. 2002).

Probability

The idea of probability is basic to inferential statistics. The goal of inferential statistical

techniques is same, to determine as precisely as possible the probability of an occurrence.

It can be regarded as quantifying the chance that a stated outcome of an event will take

place. Probability refers to the likelihood that the differences between groups under study

are the result of chance. Probability Theory states, any given event out of all possible

outcomes. When any numbers of mutually exclusive sets are given they add up to a

singularity. When a coin is tossed it has two out comes, either head or tail, i.e. 0.5 chance

for head and 0.5 chance for tail. When these two chances are added it gives 1. For

example, in a class there are fifty students, the chance of students to become first in the

class is 1 in 50 (i.e. .02). By convention, probability values fall on a scale between 0

(impossibility) and 1 (certainty), but they are sometimes expressed as percentages, so the

‘probability’ scale has much in common with the proportion scale. The chance of

committing type one error is decided by testing the hypothesis for its probability value. In

behavioural sciences <.05 is taken as alpha value for testing the hypothesis. When

stringent outcomes are required <.01 or <.001 are taken as the alpha value or p value.

The level of significance (or alpha level) is determined to identify the probability that the

deference between the groups have occurred by chance rather than in response to the

manipulation of variables. The decision of whether the null hypothesis should be rejected

depends on the level of error that can be tolerated. The tolerance level of error is

expressed as a level of significance or alpha level. The usual level of significance or

alpha level is 0.05, although at times levels of 0.01 or o.001 may be used when high level

of accuracy is required. In testing the significance of obtained statistics, if the investigator

rejects the null hypothesis when, in fact, it is true he commits type I error or alpha error,

and when the investigator accepts the null hypothesis when, in fact, it is false he commits

type II or beta error (Singh AK, 2002).

Parametric Tests

A parametric test is one which specifies certain conditions about the parameter of the

population from which a sample is taken. Such statistical tests are considered to be more

powerful than non-parametric tests and should be used if their basic requirements or

assumptions are met. Assumptions for using parametric tests:

• The observation must be drawn from a normal distribution.

• The sample drawn from a population must have equal variances and this condition

is more important if the size of the sample is particularly small, i.e. homogenicity

of variables.

• The variables must be expressed in interval or ratio scales.

• The variables under study should be continuous

Non-parametric tests

A non-parametric test is one does not specify any conditions about the parameter of the

population from which the population is drawn. These tests are called distribution-free

statistics. For non-parametric tests, the variables under study should be continuous and

the observations should be independent. Requisites for using a non-parametric statistical

test are:

• The shape of the distribution of the population from which a sample is drawn is

not known to be normal curve.

• The variables have been quantified on the basis of nominal measures (or

frequency counts)

• The variables have been quantified on the basis of ordinal measures or ranking.

• A non-parametric test should be used only when parametric assumptions cannot

be met.

• Chi-squire test

• Mann-Whitney U test

• Rank difference methods (Spearman rho and Kendal’s tau)

• Coefficient of concordance (W)

• Median test

• Kruskal-Wallis test

• Friedman test

Two unmatched (unrelated) groups, experimental and control (e.g. patient receiving a

prepared therapeutic intervention for depression and control group of patients on routine

care)-

• If normal, use parametric tests (independent t-test)

• If non-normal, go for nonparametric tests- Mann-Whitney U test or making the

data normal through natural log transformation or z-transformation.

Two-matched (related) groups, pre-post design (the same group is rated before

intervention and after the period of intervention the group is again rate. i.e. two ratings in

the same or related group)-

• See distribution, whether normal or non-normal

• If normal use parametric paired t-test.

• If non-normal, use nonparametric Wilcoxon Sign Rank (W) test

More than two –unmatched (unrelated) groups (for example three groups:

schizophrenia, bipolar and control group)-

• if normally distributed use parametric One-way ANOVA

• if non-normal use nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test

More than two matched (related) groups (for example in ongoing intervention ratings

at different times- t1, t2, t3, t4 …)

• If the data is normal use parametric Repeated Measures ANOVA

• If data is non-normal use nonparametric Friedman’s test

When analyzing bivariate data such as correlations, a single sample unit gives a pair of

observations representing two different variables. The observations comprising a pair are

uniquely linked, are said to be matched or paired. For example, the systolic blood

pressure of 10 patients and measurements of another 10 patients after administration are

unmatched. However, the measurements of the same 10 patients before and after

administration of the drug are matched. It is possible to conduct more sensitive analysis if

the observations are matched.

The chi-squire test is one of the important non-parametric tests. Guilford (1956) has

called it the ‘general-purpose statistic’. Chi-squire test are widely referred to as test of

homogenicity, randomness, association, independence and goodness of fit. The chi-squire

test is used when the data are expressed in terms of frequencies of proportions or

percentages. This test applies only to discrete data, but any continuous data can be

reduced to the categories of in such a way that they can be treated as discrete data. The

chi-square statistic is used to evaluate the relative frequency or proportion of events in a

population that fall into well-defined categories. For each category, there is an expected

frequency that is obtained from knowledge of the population or from some other

theoretical perspective. There is also an observed frequency for each category. The

observed frequency is obtained from observations made by the investigator. The chi-

square statistic expresses the discrepancy between the observed and the expected

frequency.

1. Chi-squire test can be used as a test of equal probability hypothesis (equal probability

hypothesis is meant the probability of having the frequencies in all the given categories as

equal).

means that one variable is not affected by or related to another variable and hence, these

two variables are independent).

3. Chi-squire test can be used in testing a hypothesis regarding the normal shape of a

frequency distribution (goodness-of-fit).

coefficient of concordance, and coefficient of contingency.

5. In chi-squire test, the frequencies we observe are compared with those we expect on

the basis of some null hypothesis. If the discrepancy between the observed and expected

frequencies is great, then the value of the calculated test statistic will exceed the critical

value at the appropriate number of degree of freedom. Then the null hypothesis is

rejected in favor of some alternative. The mastery of the method lies not in so much in

the computation of the test statistic itself, but in the calculation of expected frequencies.

6. The chi-squire statistic does not give any information regarding the strength of a

relationship: it only conveys the existence of or non-existence of the relationship between

the variables investigated. To establish the extent and nature of the relationship,

additional statistics such as phi, Cramer’s V, or contingency coefficient can be used

(Brockopp &Hastings-Tolsma, 2003).

• All versions of the chi-squire test compare the agreement between a set of

observed frequencies and those expected if some null hypothesis is true.

• All objects are counted the nominal scale or unambiguous intervals on a

continuous scale like successive days or moths ma be regarded for the application

of the tests.

• Apply Yate’s correction in the chi-squire test when there is only one degree of

freedom, i.e. when there is only ‘one way’ test and in 2×2 contingency table.

Testing normality of a data

Parametric statistical techniques depend upon the mathematical properties of the normal

curve. They usually assume that samples are drawn from populations that are normally

distributed. Before adopting a statistical test, it is essential to determine whether the data

is normal or non-normal. The normality of data can be checked by two ways, either plot

out the data to see if they look normal or using sophisticated statistical procedures. There

are statistical tests to see normality of the data. The commonest one is Kolmogorov-

Smirnov test. As per the central limit theorem, if there is no significance in the P value

(> .05) ideally a parametric test can be used for analyzing the data, and if there is

significance (<.05) a non-parametric test should be used for analysis. A Shapiro-Wilk

test is used to see whether parameters used to test normality is within the allowed limit.

Statistical packages like SPSS can be used for doing this test.

In experimental sciences, comparisons between groups are very common. Usually, one

group is the treatment, or experimental group, while the other group is the untreated, or

control group. If patients are randomly assigned to these two groups, it is assumed that

they differ only by chance prior to treatment. Differences between groups after the

treatment are usually used to estimate treatment effect. The task of the statistician is to

determine whether any observed differences between the groups following treatment

should be attributed to chance or to the treatment. The t-test is commonly used for this

purpose. There are actually several different types of t-tests

Types of t-Tests

• Comparison between two scores in the same group of individuals.

• Comparison between observations made on two independent groups.

t-test and z-test are parametric inferential statistical techniques used when comparison of

two means are required. It is used to test the null hypothesis that there is no difference in

means between the two groups. The reporting of the results of t-test generally includes

the df, t-value, and probability level. A t-test can be one-tailed or two-tailed. If the

hypothesis is directional, a one-tailed test is generally used, and if the hypothesis is non-

directional. t-test is used when sample size is less than 30 and z-test is used when sample

size is more than 30.

There are dependent and independent t-tests. The formula to calculate a t-test can differ

depending on whether the samples involved are dependent or independent. Samples are

independent when there are two groups such as an experimental and a control group.

Samples are dependent when the participants from two groups are paired in some

manner. The form of the t-test that is used with a dependent sample may be termed as

paired, dependent, matched, or correlated (Brockopp & Hastings-Tolsma, 2003).

Degree of freedom (df) is a mathematical concept that describes the number of events or

observations that are free to vary: for each statistical test there is a formula for calculating

the appropriate degree of freedom (n-1).

Mann-Whitney U-test

The Mann-Whitney U test is a non-parametric substitute for the parametric t-test, for

comparing the medians of two unmatched pairs. For application of U test data must be

obtained on ordinal or interval scale. We can use Mann-Whitney U-test to compare the

median time undertaken to perform the task by a sample of subjects who had not drunk

with that of another sample who had drunk a standardized volume of alcohol. This test is

used to see group difference, when the data is non-normal and the groups are

independent. The test can be applied in groups with unequal or equal size.

Some key points about using Mann-Whitney U-test are:

derived variable (proportions and indices) and to ordinal data (rank scales, etc.)

• Unlike some test statistics, the calculated value of U has to be smaller than the

tabulated critical value in order to reject null hypothesis.

• The test is for difference in medians. It is common error to record a statement like

‘the Mann-Whitney U-test showed there is significant difference in means. There

is, however, no need to calculate the medians of each sample to do the test.

The Wilcoxon test for matched pairs is a non-parametric test for comparing the medians

of two matched samples. It calls for a test statistic T whose probability distribution is

known. The observation must be drawn on interval scale. It is not possible to use this test

on ordinal measurements. The Wilcoxon's test can be used in matched pair samples. This

test is for difference in medians and the test assumes that samples have been drawn from

parent populations that are symmetrically not necessarily normally distributed.

method assessing the association between two variables under study. In this test an

estimation of at least one parameter is involved, measurement is at an interval level, and

it is assumed that the variable under study is normally distributed within the population.

Spearman Rank correlation Coefficient

Spearman’s Rank Correlation Technique is used when the conditions of the Product

Moment Correlation Coefficient do no apply. This test is widely used by health scientists

and uses ranks of the x and y observations and the raw data themselves are discarded.

proportions, percentages, indices or counts of things, use the Spearman’s Rank

Correlation Coefficient. The number of units in the sample i.e. the number of

paired observations should be between 7 and 30.

• When observations are measured on interval scale use Product Moment

Correlation Coefficient should be considered. . Sample units must be obtained

randomly, and the data should be bivariate normal i.e. x and y.

• The relationship between the variables should be rectilinear (straight line) not

curved. Certain mathematical transformations (e.g. logarithmic transformation)

will ‘straighten up’ curved relationships.

• A strong and significant correlation does not mean does not mean one necessarily

the cause of the other. It is possible that some additional, unidentified factor is

underlying source of variability in both variables.

• Correlations measured in samples estimate correlations in the populations. A

correlation in a sample is not ‘improved’ or strengthened by obtaining more

observations: however, larger samples may be required to confirm the statistical

significance of weaker correlations.

Regression Analysis

Regression analysis is often used to predict the value of one variable given information

about another variable. The procedure can describe how two continuous variables are

related. Regression analysis is used to examine relationships among continuous variables

and is most appropriate for data that can be plotted on a graph. Data are usually plotted,

so that the independent variable is seen on the horizontal (x) axis and the dependent

variable on the vertical (y) axis. The statistical procedure for regression analysis includes

a test for the significance of the relationship between two variables. Given a significant

relationship between two variables, knowledge of the value of the independent variable

permits a prediction of the value of the dependent variable.

One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

When there are three or more samples, and the data from each sample are thought to be

distributed normally, analysis of variance (ANOVA) may be a technique of choice One-

way analysis of variance is a parametric inferential statistical test that enables the

investigators to compare two or more group means, which was developed by RF. Fisher.

The reporting of the results includes the df, F value and the probability level. ANOVA is

of two types: simple analysis of variance and complex analysis of variance or two-way

analysis of variance. One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) is an extension of t-test,

which permits the investigator to compare more than two means simultaneously.

Researchers studying two or more groups can use ANOVA to determine whether there

are differences among the groups. For example, nurse investigators who want to assess

the levels of helplessness among three groups of patients--long-term, acute care and

outpatients-can administer an instrument designed to measure levels of helplessness and

then calculate an F ratio. If the F ratio is sufficiently large, then conclusion can be that

there is a difference between at least two of the means can be drawn.

The larger the F-ratio, the more likely it is that the null hypothesis can be rejected. Other

tests called post hoc comparisons, can be used to determine which of the means differ

significantly. Fisher’s LSD, Duncan’s new multiple range test, the Neuman-Keuls,

Tukey’s HSD, and Scheffe’s test are the post hoc comparison tests that are most

frequently used following ANOVA. In some instances a post hoc comparison is not

necessary because the means of the groups under consideration readily convey the

differences between the groups (Brockopp & Hastings-Tolsma, 2003).

The Kruskal-Wallis test is a simple non-parametric test to compare the medians of three

or more samples. Observations may be interval measurements, counts of things, derived

variables, or ordinal ranks. If there are only three samples, then there must be at least five

observations in each sample. Samples do not have to be of equal sizes. The statistic K is

used to indicate the test value.

Multivariate Analysis

Factorial analysis of variance permits the investigator to analyze the effects of two or

more independent variables on the dependent variable (one-way ANOVA is used with

one independent variable and one dependent variable). The term factor is interchangeable

with independent variable and factorial ANOVA therefore refers to the idea that data

having two or more independent variables can be analyzed using this technique.

Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA)

for group differences that may interfere with obtaining results that relate specifically to

the effects of the independent variable(s) on the dependent variable(s).

Multivariate Analysis

Multivariate analysis refers to a group of inferential statistical tests that enable the

investigator to examine multiple variables simultaneously. Unlike other statistical

techniques, these tests permit the investigator to examine several dependent and

independent variables simultaneously.

If the data fulfill the requirement of parametric assumptions, any of the parametric tests

which suit the purpose can be used. O the other hand, if the data do not fulfill the

parametric requirements, any of the non-parametric statistical tests, which suit the

purpose, can be selected. Other factors which decide the selection of appropriate

statistical tests are the number of independent and dependent variables, and he nature of

the variables (whether nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio). When both independent and

dependent variables are interval measures and are more than one, multiple correlation is

the most appropriate statistic. On the other hand when they are interval measures and

their number is only one, Pearson r may be used. With ordinal and nominal measures, the

non-parametric statistics are the common choice.

The availability of computer software has greatly facilitated the execution of most

statistical techniques. The many statistical packages run on different types of platforms or

computer configurations. For general data analysis the Statistical Package for the Social

Sciences (SPSS), the BMDP series, and the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) are

recommended. These are general-purpose statistical packages that perform essentially all

the analyses common to biomedical research. In addition, a variety of other packages

have emerged.

SYSTAT runs on both IBM-compatible and Macintosh systems and performs most of the

analyses commonly used in biomedical research. The popular SAS program has been

redeveloped for Macintosh systems and is sold under the name JMP. Other commonly

used programs include Stata, which is excellent for the IBM-compatible computers. The

developers of Stata release a regular newsletter providing updates, which makes the

package very attractive. StatView is a general-purpose program for the Macintosh

computer.

Newer versions of StatView include an additional program called Super ANOVA, which

is an excellent set of ANOVA routines. StatView is user-friendly and also has superb

graphics. For users interested in epidemiological analyses, Epilog is a relatively low-cost

program that runs on the IBM-compatible platforms. It is particularly valuable for rate

calculations, analysis of disease-clustering patterns, and survival analysis. GB-STAT, is a

low-cost, multipurpose package that is very comprehensive.

SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) is one among the popular computer

programs for data analysis. This software provides a comprehensive set of flexible tools

that can be used to accomplish a wide variety of data analysis tasks (Einspruch, 1998).

SPSS is available in a variety of platforms. The latest product information and free

tutorial are available at www.spss.com.

Computer software programs that provide easy access to highly sophisticated statistical

methodologies represent both opportunities and dangers. On the positive side, no serious

researcher need be concerned about being unable to utilize precisely the statistical

technique that best suits his or her purpose, and to do so with the kind of speed and

economy that was inconceivable just two decades ago. The danger is that some

investigators may be tempted to employ after-the-fact statistical manipulations to salvage

a study that was flawed to start with, or to extract significant findings through use of

progressively more sophisticated multivariate techniques.

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3. Cozby P C (2000). Methods in Behavioral Research (7th Edition). Toronto:

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4. Kerr A W, Hall H K, Kozub S A (2002). Doing Statistics with SPSS. Sage

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5. Einspruch E L (1998). An Introductory Guide to SPSS for Windows. Sage

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6. Fowler J, Jarvis P & Chevannes M (2002). Practical Statistics for Nursing and

Health Care. John Wiley & Sons: England

7. Guilliford, J P (1956). Fundamental Statistics in Psychology and Education. New

York: McGraw-Hill Book Co.

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10. Singlton, Royce A. and Straits, Bruce (1999). Approaches to Social Research (3rd

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