For many clinicians, statistics is the equivalent of a foreign language: they may know a few words here and there from their travels, but they have never had the time to learn the language properly. As health care providers, we are increasingly being asked to engage in critical appraisal and sort through the large volume of research to help guide decision making. For many, this means reading mainly the abstract and the discussion, and glossing over the jargon in the methods and results. This is unfortunate, as the methods can obviously make or break the validity of the results and determine whether we decide that a study is valid and practice changing, or fatally flawed and pointless.
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