Reviews

Introductory statistics

This is the fifth edition of this text, and it’s not difficult to see why it has proved to be so enduringly popular. It is a massive work, probably the most comprehensive introduction to statistics that I’ve come across. The book follows a format of providing a basic introduction to relevant definitions and commonly used terms, and then offers sections on organisation of data, probability, sampling, hypothesis development and testing methods (parametric and non-parametric).

All paragraphs are well illustrated and there is good use of real-life situations (over 200) to illustrate the various problems. A significant strength of the book is its frequent use of exercises, aiming to reinforce knowledge gained in each chapter. Margin notes are used imaginatively to talk readers through each example, and potential problems are flagged up through the use of warnings and cautions.

The book has an impressive accompanying website for the use of students and lecturers and a number of supplements are also available. An astonishing amount of work must have gone into the preparation of the text, and the author deserves the fullest congratulations. This really is a life’s work, and one to be proud of.

Is Introductory Statistics of use to nurses in the UK at undergraduate or post-graduate level? For undergraduates the answer is no. The stated aim of the book

...

All paragraphs are well illustrated and there is good use of real-life situations (over 200) to illustrate the various problems. A significant strength of the book is its frequent use of exercises, aiming to reinforce knowledge gained in each chapter. Margin notes are used imaginatively to talk readers through each example, and potential problems are flagged up through the use of warnings and cautions.

The book has an impressive accompanying website for the use of students and lecturers and a number of supplements are also available. An astonishing amount of work must have gone into the preparation of the text, and the author deserves the fullest congratulations. This really is a life’s work, and one to be proud of.

Is Introductory Statistics of use to nurses in the UK at undergraduate or post-graduate level? For undergraduates the answer is no. The stated aim of the book is that is written to accompany a one-or two-term taught course in applied statistics. To the best of my knowledge no UK school of nursing offers such an option. For postgraduates the book may be of use, but my feeling is that there is almost too much of it. I can’t imagine any of my colleagues on postgraduate courses having the time to read it. A less ambitious text might be more appropriate.

This is a magnificent book, but it doesn’t meet the current needs of UK nurse researchers. The problem lies not with the authors, it is entirely ours.

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?