Biostatistics and Research Design for Clinicians

  • Tarsicio Uribe-Leitz
  • Alyssa Fitzpatrick Harlow
  • Adil H. Haider


The objective of this chapter is to provide the reader with a basic understanding of core statistical concepts that will aid in the translation of meaningful research results. We emphasize the importance of a well-defined study design as a strong foundation that will lead to sound evidence. First, we define foundational statistical terminology; we then discuss the steps to generating and testing hypotheses through development of a solid research question and review how to choose an appropriate study design. Second, we describe a twofold approach to data analysis that uses descriptive statistics followed by inferential statistics. Finally, we cover essentials for sound evidence, based on a systematic point-based approach to judge the quality of data and strength of recommendations produced by research studies.


Biostatistics Hypothesis Study design Descriptive statistics Inferential statistics 



Dr. Haider would like to thank the Career Development Course of the Association for Academic Surgery where he has lectured on this topic over the past several years. Most of the concepts presented here have been discussed during the course of these presentations.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tarsicio Uribe-Leitz
    • 1
  • Alyssa Fitzpatrick Harlow
    • 1
  • Adil H. Haider
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH)Brigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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