introduction to probability theory and health statistics

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INTRODUCTION TO PROBABILITY THEORY AND HEALTH STATISTICS

Part I (approximately 1–1½ pages, total):

Copy and paste the following examples (1-6 below), then respond by classifying each of the following variables as either: nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio. Provide a brief explanation where indicated.

  1. A researcher studying lifespan categorizes individuals into single, married, divorced, or widowed. What type of variable measurement is this?
  2. A cognitive scientist places her subjects into categories based on how anxious they tell her that they are feeling: “not anxious,” “mildly anxious,” “moderately anxious,” and “severely anxious,” and she uses the numbers 0, 1, 2 and 3 to label categories where lower numbers indicate less anxiety. What type of variable measurement is this? Are the categories mutually exclusive?
  3. A Physician diagnoses the presence or absence of disease (i.e., yes or no). What type of variable measurement is this?
  4. A person weighing 200 lbs. is considered to be twice as heavy as a person weighing 100 lbs. In this case, what type of measurement is body weight?
  5. A nurse takes measurements of body temperature on patients and reports them in units of degrees Farenheit as part of a study. What type of variable measurement is this?
  6. Patients rate their experience in the emergency room on a five point scale from poor to excellent (1 = very poor, 2 = not very good, 3 = neither good nor bad, 4 = quite good, and 5 = excellent). What type of variable measurement is this? Is the difference between a 1 and a 2 necessarily the same as the difference between a 3 and a 4? Explain briefly.

Part II: Statistics (1/2 page)

Given what you’ve learned in this module about the meaning of “statistics,” choose one of the examples from Part I (1-6), and raise a relevant question of your own that could be answered by a statistician. Then without answering your own question, explain how a pattern could be studied or a useful prediction made based on data that are to be collected.

Part III: Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data (approximately 1–1½ pages)

A health scientist wishes to measure how well participants diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are coping. Explain how a variable such as coping could be measured quantitatively or qualitatively.

APA for

Required Reading and Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. (2012). Lesson 4: Displaying public health data. In Principles of epidemiology in public health practice [3rd ed.]. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/ophss/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson4/index…

Cook, A., Netuveli, G., & Sheikh, A. (2004). Chapter 1: Laying the foundations: Measurements and probability. In Basic skills in statistics: A guide for healthcare professionals (pp. 3-14). London, GBR: Class Publishing. eISBN: 9781859591291.

Statistics Learning Centre. (2011, December 13). Types of data: Nominal, ordinal, interval/ratio. Retrieved from

Norman, G. R., & Streiner, D. L. (2014). Section the first: The nature of data and statistics: Chapter 1: The basics. In Biostatistics: The bare essentials [4th ed., e-Book]. Shelton, Connecticut: PMPH-USA, Ltd. eISBN-13: 978-1-60795-279-4. Available in the Trident Online Library EBSCO eBook Collection.

Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce. (2016, August 9). Health data tools and statistics. Retrieved from https://phpartners.org/health_stats.html

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