Principles of Statistics for Surgeons II Descriptive or Summary Statistics
Keywords:Descriptive statistics, Summary statistics
The present article reviews the basic ideas behind summary or descriptive statistics. The types of data commonly seen in medical practice and research are introduced and described. Descriptive statistics appropriate for each type of data are presented and discussed. Motivations for these summaries are provided from a theoretical as well as practical point of view. The data set from a comparative study of laparoscopic methods for the treatment of morbid obesity is used as an illustration. Numerical exercises are provided at the end of the article. The introductory material in the article should help the reader begin his or her study of basic medical statistics.
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