HOPE Center seminar demystifies statistics

Frequently in the field of pharmacoeconomic research, people who have never been formally trained in research methods or statistics find themselves needing to use research skills in their daily tasks. To help equip them for these research tasks, the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research (HOPE Center) recently began offering a free weekly seminar titled “Introduction to Data Analysis, Research Design, and Statistics” for AHSC clinical residents. This began as a program for HOPE Center fellows only, but has expanded to a wider audience to meet the need for such a program.

According to the syllabus, the year-round seminar, which first met on Sept. 9 and will continue through May, is designed to help clinical residents “develop the skills to design research projects; manage, analyze, and present quantitative data; and select, conduct, and interpret results of common statistical tests through hands-on training.”

The seminar focuses on practical in-class exercises using SPSS statistical analysis software. Facilitator Jason Hurwitz, assistant research scientist at the HOPE Center, (pictured) highlights that the seminar has “no homework, no exams, no credit and no stress.”

The seminar has welcomed participants from a wide variety of health sciences backgrounds. For now, the number of participants has been capped at 20.

Hurwitz explains, “The goal is that people would be able to do research independently without being overwhelmed by statistics.” He aims to demystify research and data analysis for seminar participants so that they can use research and statistical methods confidently in their various projects.

Past seminar participant Hussain Bakhsh states, “The seminar is thorough and covers several aspects of biostatistics. It helped me to have a better interpretation of the results among scientific research. Moreover, working on SPSS through the seminar had a great impact on my work.”

Another past participant, Alaa Bagalagel, adds that the seminar was “very educational and at the same time entertaining”, and that it helped him to“become confident with statistical analysis” and “change from article reader to article writer.”

For more information on the data analysis seminar, contact Jason Hurwitz at the HOPE Center.

Story by Elizabeth Harris, communications assistant

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