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Indian J Urol. 2009 Apr;25(2):241-5. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.52935.

Statistics: The stethoscope of a thinking urologist.

Author information

  • Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, United States.

Abstract

Understanding statistical terminology and the ability to appraise clinical research findings and statistical tests are critical to the practice of evidence-based medicine. Urologists require statistics in their toolbox of skills in order to successfully sift through increasingly complex studies and realize the drawbacks of statistical tests. Currently, the level of evidence in urology literature is low and the majority of research abstracts published for the American Urological Association (AUA) meetings lag behind for full-text publication because of a lack of statistical reporting. Underlying these issues is a distinct deficiency in solid comprehension of statistics in the literature and a discomfort with the application of statistics for clinical decision-making. This review examines the plight of statistics in urology and investigates the reason behind the white-coat aversion to biostatistics. Resources such as evidence-based medicine websites, primers in statistics, and guidelines for statistical reporting exist for quick reference by urologists. Ultimately, educators should take charge of monitoring statistical knowledge among trainees by bolstering competency requirements and creating sustained opportunities for statistics and methodology exposure.

KEYWORDS:

Biostatistics; evidence-based medicine; level of evidence; statistics; urological literature

PMID:
19672358
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2710076
Free PMC Article
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