Biostatistics: The Bare Essentials, 4th edition

Geoffrey R. Norman, PhD

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

David L. Streiner, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Department of Clinical
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Senior Scientist
Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit
Baycrest Health Sciences
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Biostatistics: The Bare Essentials, 4th edition continues the tradition of translating biostatistics in the health sciences literature with clarity and irreverence. Students and practitioners alike applaud Biostatistics as a practical guide that exposes them to every statistical test they are likely to encounter, with careful conceptual explanations and a minimum of algebra.
Free of calculations and jargon, Bare Essentials speaks so plainly that readers will not need a technical dictionary. The focus is on the concepts, not the math. The objective is to enable one to determine whether the research results are applicable to their own patients.
Throughout, readers will find highlights of areas in which researchers misuse or misinterpret statistical tests. The authors have labeled these “C.R.A.P. Detectors” (Convoluted Reasoning and Anti-Intellectual Pomposity), and they help identify faulty methodology and misuse of statistics.

The previous edition of Bare Essentials presented hierarchical linear modeling, which first appeared in psychology journals and has only recently been described in the medical literature. Chapters on testing for equivalence and non-inferiority and information for getting started with the computer statistics program SPSS are also included.

A very positive review of the 3rd edition of the book by Dr. Naomi Vaisrub appeared in JAMA which praised the book but recommended covering topics in epidemiology, so in the 4th edition the Norman and Streiner took her up on it. They have also included an entirely new chapter, called “Measures of Impact,” in which the authors discuss measures of incidence and prevalence, risk, morbidity and fatality rates, and the number needed to treat. The authors also delve into the Poisson distribution for doing regressions on count data. The reader will find new sections on robust estimators of the mean, the problems of multiple hypothesis testing, bootstrapping and resampling, as well as an expanded section on nonparametric stats.

Section the First: The Nature of Data and Statistics
Section the Second: Analysis of Variance
Section the Third: Regression and Correlation
Section the Fourth: Nonparametric Statistics
Section the Fifth: Reprise

“…I’m actually enjoying a stats book! When you said someone was laughing so hard they dropped your textbook in the bath, I was skeptical, but now, I truly understand! I often comment that your text is very funny and people are surprised that I did not mean the phrase as an oxymoron. Thank you for taking this approach to teaching stats!” — Le-anh Ngo

“I hate stats, loath stats. But, I have just discovered Biostatistics, and just had to say thank you for making me laugh. I have never had things explained so simply and appropriately (this is my third go at stats…). Keep writing… you are making a difference to some poor stats students.” — Karen Munk 

“Yes, the marginalia is very popular with faculty and students alike; a colleague and I giggled hysterically over the humorous examples and marginalia (those passing her office thought we’d lost our marbles). My favorite is Chapter 13 — the yuppie patients. Usually statistics books put me to sleep, but Biostatistics is the exception.” — Christine Marton

“I thought Biostatistics looked interesting — and it definitely is! Without it, I don’t know if I would ever have made sense of the subject. I’m in the midst of writing up my PhD thesis and it’s been an invaluable reference and — perhaps more miraculous — I never read a page without a chuckle. The great mix of humor and statistics is too often thought to be mutually exclusive. I’m recommending this book to all my fellow graduate students.” — Joe Brown 

Biostatistics: The Bare Essentials would have been life-changing had it been published when I was in graduate school at the University of Chicago. It now must settle for being life-enhancing. Statistics doesn’t have to be that god-awful boring! And it can be simply described as well. I thought Howard Wainer was clear, but you guys are even better!” — Rebecca J. McCauley

 “I just wanted you to know that you and Dr. Streiner are the only people on the planet who can make me laugh when trying to figure out statistics.” — Monica McHenry

$79.95 Add To Cart
Book Details

425 pages


8.5 in. x 11 in.


Graduate and medical students, researchers, practitioners, and others seeking introduction or reference to biostatistics and clinical epidemiology

ISBN 9781607951780