Conclusions

The recently published Encyc/opedia of Biostatistics2) comprises six large volumes of chapters such as this one, covering every area of conceivable interest to the statistically interested clinical research worker. Therefore it is inevitable that this chapter should be very restricted. Inevitably, the choice of topics might be thought to be rather idiosyncratic. Areas which might have been covered, but have been ignored, include survival modelling (particularly recent developments in so-called frailty modelling), longitudinal data analysis (with special reference to modelling patterns of attrition), genetics, and a whole range of classical multivariate methods such as principal components and factor analysis, discriminant analysis (although logistic modelling is one of the better methods of discriminant analysis), multidimensional scaling, and cluster analysis. Henderson (see ChapterZZ) has also mentioned exciting possibilities for the development of latent trait (item response theory) and latent class models. Several years ago I was often asked to teach trainee psychiatrists all they needed to know about statistics in two 2-h sessions. The first was to cover univariate methods, and the second, multivariate analysis. It cannot be done!

So, where should the reader go from here? Which are the most useful textbooks? In terms of general medical statistics, the obvious choice is Armitage and Berry. (25) Everitt and Dunn(26) and Everitt(27) provide general introductions to multivariate methodology. Measurement error problems, including structural equation modelling, are covered by Dunn(4) and Dunn et a/.(23) The role of statistics in genetics is well covered by Sham.(28) Although there are many texts on the use of statistics in psychology(27) and education (e.g. Plewis(17) which includes an introduction to multilevel modelling), the only specialist reference for psychiatrists appears to be that by Dunn.(22) However, there is a special issue of the review journal Statistical Methods in Medica/ Research on statistics in psychiatry (Volume 7, October 1998). Readers searching for more specialist material might find other issues of this journal useful, and there is also a mine of useful and relevant information in the Encyc/opedia of Biostat/st/cs.(24)

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