Statistics Demystified

Evidence based medicine (EBM) allows us to deliver the best care to our patients and understanding the concepts involved is crucial.

Over the last 18 month we’ve been building an online course to give people a sound understanding of EBM and we thought we’d give you a free taster of what it’s all about.

Have a listen to one of our episodes here on statistics and if you want to find out more have a read below about the full course.


SimonRob & James

The Critical Appraisal Lowdown Course

The Critical Appraisal Lowdown is an online, podcast centred course in critical appraisal. The content will enable the user to read, understand and apply appropriate scientific research appropriately to their patients.

The website contains mcqs to allow you to reflect on the topics covered and assess your knowledge.

Certificates are generated to allow demonstration of CPD completed. The Critical Appraisal Lowdown has been developed by Simon Laing (Emergency Medicine Consultant), Rob Fenwick (Advanced Clinical Practitioner) and James Yates (Critical Care Paramedic). These three clinicians have a common background in Emergency Care, a passion for evidence based medicine and its application in their practice, along with an extensive experience in podcasting with which holds a 5* iTunes rating.You can purchase unlimited access to the course for 6 weeks or 6 months on any/all of your devices using your personal membership login.

The course contains over 3 hours of web hosted podcasts, over 100 online questions to support understanding and retention of concepts and definitions.

Your personal certificate of course completion reflecting the anticipated completion time of 6 hours.

The course covers the following 19 sections

Evidence Based Medicine, what is it

  • Examples of great evidence changing practice
  • Examples of poor evidence changing practice

What is Critical Appraisal

  • PICO
  • Internal validity
  • External validity
  • Clinical significance

How to find papers to answer your question

  • Grey literature

How a paper is structured

  • Authors
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion

Different forms of research

  • Observational descriptive
  • Observational analytical
  • Experimental
  • Qualitative

Different terminology used to describe research designs

  • Cross sectional
  • Longitudinal
  • Retrospective
  • Prospective
  • Qualitative data
  • Quantitative data

Different categories of evidence

  • Expert opinion
  • Case report
  • Case series
  • Case control
  • Prospective Cohort Study
  • Retrospective Cohort Study
  • Controlled trials
  • Randomised control trials
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Meta-analyses

Hierarchy of evidence

  • Oxford levels of evidence

Further terminology to be aware of

  • Chance
  • Bias
  • Confounding
  • Internal Validity
  • External validity
  • Homogeneous
  • Heterogeneous

Statistical methods

  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Prevalence
  • Incidence
  • The hypothesis
  • P-values
  • Confidence intervals
  • False positives
  • False negatives
  • Power calculations

Being Aware of Outcomes

  • Statistically significant vs clinically significant
  • Secondary outcomes, beware

Diagnostic studies

  • The gold standard/reference standard
  • The population tested
  • Inter-observer reliability
  • Cost of the diagnostic test

Terminology to be aware of in a diagnostic paper

  • Case positive
  • Case negative
  • Test positive
  • Test negative
  • True positive
  • True negative
  • False positive
  • False negative
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity
  • Positive predictive value
  • Negative predictive value

Likelihood ratios & area under the curve

  • Positive and negative likelihood ratios
  • Fagan’s nomogram
  • Categorical Likelihood ratios
  • Area under the curve

Critical Appraisal of a Diagnostic Study

  • Critical appraisal of the ADJUST-PE study
  • CASP diagnostic study checklist

Therapeutic studies

  • Randomisation
  • Allocation concealment
  • Blinding
  • Intention to treat & per-protocol analysis
  • Follow up
  • The outcome of interest
  • Composite outcomes

Treatment effect

  • Relative risk reduction (RRR)
  • Absolute risk reduction (ARR)
  • NNT

 Critical Appraisal of a Therapeutic Study

  • Critical appraisal of the PEITHO trial
  • CASP RCT check list checklist

Final Assessment

  • Online assessment via true/false questions
  • CPD certificate generation

Leave a Reply

© 2024 The Resus Room