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A Clinician's Guide to Statistics and Epidemiology in Mental Health: Measuring Truth and Uncertainty

In the course of writing and teaching about mood disorders, I often discussed the results of research studies with clinicians and patients. In the process, I found that clinicians and patients needed, and wanted, to learn about the methods used to conduct these studies. In other words, one could not understand the results unless one understood more about the research methods, i.e., statistics. Yet I could find no simple book about statistics which I could recommend to the average clinician or patient, no book which was written in plain English, without excessive mathematics, and which explained the relevance of statistical concepts for the practitioners. So I decided to write it.

This book is, I think, the only book directed to the mental health clinician, and to educated patients, which covers the whole range of statistics in a way that is directly clinically relevant, with many clinical examples along the way.

Using clear language in favour of complex terminology, limitations of statistical techniques are emphasized, as well as the importance of interpretation - as opposed to 'number-crunching' - in analysis. Uniquely for a text of this kind, there is extensive coverage of causation and the conceptual, philosophical and political factors involved, with forthright discussion of the pharmaceutical industry's role in psychiatric research. By creating a greater understanding of the world of research, this book empowers health professionals, and informed patients, to make their own judgments on which statistics to believe - and why.

This paperback book is now available for pre-ordering from Cambridge University Press.