peeking out…

Posted on Monday 18 January 2016

I got an email asking if I was sick [because I’ve been quiet for a week]. No, I am just knee deep in a project that involves scrolling through endless monotonous spreadsheets, and I just can’t look at a computer after a few [or more] hours of that. Probably another week more I would guess. In the process, I’ve discovered a new disease – spreadsheet oculopathy. Symptoms include diplopia, nystagmus, a dandy headache, and irritability.  It’s easy as pie  to treat.

I did want to jump in and thank PsychPractice for mentioning my jaunt into statistics [in the land of sometimes… 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 & john henry’s hammer… 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5] and for giving it a test drive [DIY Study Evaluation]. I’m not a statistician, and I’ll be glad to hear when I get things wrong. But I’ve decided that a lot of the reason people are not reading these clinical trials critically is that all the modern talk of statistical modelling and linear regression etc puts people off. Either they don’t understand the analytic methodology or worse – it’s presented in a deliberately obfuscating way to keep the reader from looking behind all the fancy talk. What I’m proposing is that the average medical reader can easily learn how to use a few simple tools to quickly decide if one is being served a plate of science or dish of something else. At least in my specialty, psychiatry, the industry generated clinical trial reports have been heavily weighted on the south side of something else. There are more statistical things to say before I’m done.

So, just peeking out to say hello. Back soon…
    Bernard Carroll
    January 18, 2016 | 11:07 PM

    At the risk of repeating myself: you have already done the ground work for a manual to help the “average medical reader” as well as those in training. It should become a staple with every class of psychiatry residents. Go for it!

    Woody Harriman
    January 20, 2016 | 6:41 AM

    — Looking forward to seeing it! Lord knows I can use the help.

    January 20, 2016 | 8:35 AM

    I found the kitten graphic pleasing.

    January 20, 2016 | 9:46 AM

    I agree. Cute kitty…

    January 21, 2016 | 12:15 AM

    In case of interest:

    I too found the kitten graphic pleasing.

    Perhaps kitties can continue to provide a counterbalance to the sometimes disheartening information on the site?

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