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Statistical methods in psychiatric epidemiology 2: an epidemiologist’ s perspective

Martin Prince

in Practical Psychiatric Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780198515517
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780198515517.003.0015
Statistical methods in psychiatric epidemiology 2: an epidemiologist’ s perspective

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We hope that these two chapters, while providing students with greater confidence in approaching the analysis of their data sets, will also have raised as many questions as they have provided answers. It should by now be evident that there is no single, set, correct way to analyse a given data set; many will argue with some of the approaches advocated in these chapters. The important thing is for students to be aware of the diversity of methods currently available, and to proceed judiciously in the analysis and inferencing of their data, constantly aware of the strengths and limitations of the techniques that they are using. Also, it is important to recognize that biostatistics is a constantly and rapidly evolving discipline. The introduction of logistic regression in the 1970s revolutionized modern epidemiology, influencing the design of our studies as well as the methods used to analyse them. The more recent development of multi-level modelling is likely to have a similarly profound effect upon the type of research questions that we formulate, as well as the designs that we use to test these new hypotheses. Statistical methods are therefore not just the tools that statisticians, working with epidemiologists use to analyse data. They also, as they develop drive the research agenda and influence all aspects of methodology. Ever increasing collaboration between biostatisticians, epidemiologists, and clinical researchers is therefore essential if the full creative potential of this momentum is to be realized.

Chapter.  5951 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Epidemiology

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