Statistical methods in medical research


  • Ganeshkumar P Department of Community Medicine, SRM Medical College Hospital & Research Centre, SRM University Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu, India



Clinical trials, Statistics


Medicine is an ever changing science. Thus new knowledge generated by research and clinical experience widen the knowledge; change the understanding of natural history of disease and its application in therapeutics. Thus policy makers, clinicians and researchers must evaluate and use information existing in the literature to implement in their healthcare delivery. The father of field epidemiology, John Snow during 1854 studied the cholera epidemic in London and demonstrated the association of epidemiological and statistical methods in medical research. Popularity gained after Bradford Hill’s lectures were published as a series of articles in the Lancet and then in book form, principles of medical statistics. The book went through 11 editions during his life-time.


Hill AB. Principles. In: Hill AB, eds. Principles of Medical Statistics. 1st ed. London: Lancet, Oxford University Press; 1937:189.

DeMets DL, Stormo G, Boehnke M, Louis TA, Taylor J, Dixon D. Training of the next generation of biostatisticians. Stat Med. 2006 Oct;25(20):3415-29.

Zelen M. Biostatisticians: biostatistical science and the future. Stat Med. 2006 Oct;25(20):3409-14.