Doctors' statistical literacy: a survey at Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University.
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Medical doctors need to keep abreast of new developments in medicine. This is often done by reading medical journals and carrying out research activities that require an understanding of statistical methods. This study was designed to assess the knowledge of statistics among doctors in Thailand. A pretested, self-administered questionnaire with nine multiple-choice questions on basic statistical issues was used. In a survey of university hospital staff, there were 365 doctors, including 156 specialists, 152 residents and 57 final year medical students (externs). The overall response rate was 40.0 per cent. The overall median number of correct answers was 4.0 (95% CI 3.0, 4.0). Specialists had a significantly higher median score, 4.0 than residents, and externs, 3.0's, (p = 0.02). Respondents who had previously attended statistical workshops had a significantly higher median score (5.0) than those who had not (3.0) (p < 0.01). These results indicate that doctors in our hospital have insufficient knowledge of the basic statistical concepts that are commonly used in medical journals. Continuing education in statistics for doctors during residency and post doctoral training must be given serious consideration.
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