American College of Physicians to release 'How To Report Statistics in Medicine'

Comprehensive -- and comprehensible -- guide's second edition

PHILADELPHIA -- (August 18, 2006) "How To Report Statistics in Medicine," second edition, is being published at the end of August by the American College of Physicians (ACP), the nation's largest medical-specialty society. The second edition revises and expands a popular text that has become a standard guide in the fields of medical writing, scientific publications, and evidence-based medicine.

As in the first edition, the authors -- respected medical editor/writer and scientific writing instructor Thomas A. Lang, MA, and biostatistician and statistical consultant Michelle Secic, MS -- again stress that "How To Report Statistics in Medicine," second edition, is not a text on analyzing or calculating statistics but rather a guide to interpreting and reporting them. It was written for authors, editors, and reviewers who prepare or evaluate biomedical research for publication, especially in peer-reviewed journals.

Since the publication of the first edition of "How To Report Statistics in Medicine," Lang and Secic say most, but not all, statistical reporting guidelines have remained unchanged. The need for a second edition comes from an increased understanding of how best to explain these guidelines, as well as the need to add several new topics and to update a few topics that have changed substantially since the first edition.

"How To Report Statistics in Medicine," second edition, contains elements of a style manual, a dictionary, and an encyclopedia. By providing plain-English overviews of the various topics, a glossary of easy-to-understand explanations of statistical terms and tests, and a user-friendly index, it should also be a valuable adjunct to anyone learning biostatistics and medical research in traditional academic classes.

The new edition features thoroughly revised and expanded text with eight new chapters, including two new chapters on preparing tables and figures and four new chapters for reporting and understanding the most common research designs and activities used in clinical and epidemiological research.

The co-authors write in the book's introduction that "The success of the first edition was gratifying and confirmed our belief that readers will use reporting guidelines if they have access to them and if they can understand them. When they use these guidelines, they will become better producers and consumers of biomedical research and thus better able to practice evidence-based medicine."

Edward J. Huth, MD, MACP, editor emeritus of Annals of Internal Medicine, writes of Lang and Secic's contributions in the book's foreword: "Authors, editors, and peer reviewers of papers containing statistics-based evidence remain in their debt. Most important is the benefit that will eventually reach our patients, who are the reason why our profession exists."

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"How To Report Statistics in Medicine," second edition, can be ordered via the ACP Web site https://www.acponline.org/atpro/timssnet/products/tnt_products.cfm; or contact the ACP Customer Service Department: custserv@acponline.org; or phone 215-351-2600 (M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET). The ACP product number is 330351060; ISBN 1-930513-69-0. List price is $54.95; ACP members pay $44.95. The softcover book has 488 pages.

The American College of Physicians, founded in 1915, works to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine. ACP membership includes 120,000 internists, medical residents, fellows and students. ACP's publishing program includes journals such as Annals of Internal Medicine, electronic products, and books for the medical community and general reader.


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