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This module is designed to help medical communications professionals and others in the pharmaceutical industry evaluate statistical data presented in medical literature. It will help users apply statistical concepts when evaluating literature, identify strengths and weaknesses in study design, and detect potential bias in the presentation of statistics.

The goal of this module is not to turn you into a statistician. In DIA’s instructor-led statistics training courses, we say the same thing: A three-hour module, or a three-day training course, will not give you the knowledge that it takes biostatisticians advanced degrees and years of experience to accumulate. For example, this module does not go into great detail about how to perform the myriad statistical tests available, because the goal is less on how to perform these tests, but rather on understanding what you are reading when you are evaluating medical literature. We hope one outcome of your taking this module is that you are comfortable “speaking the language” of statistics and discussing your questions or issues with your company’s statisticians.

Feedback from Our Participant(s)

I have found these modules to be indispensable for any individual in the role of a Medical Communications Professional (MCP) in the pharmaceutical industry, whether they be new to this role or a more seasoned colleague.  I recommend this program be incorporated into a Medical Communications training plan for all MCP team members, as it covers the foundation work processes of a MCP's role very nicely.  As a seasoned MCP myself, the modules were very helpful to identify how we are currently practicing, and where improvements could be made based on following the industry's best practices as it relates to medical communications.  Also of great value, the ability to earn ACPE credit as a pharmacist as well as the opportunity to receive a DIA Medical Communications Certificate upon completion of all 9 modules, really adds credence to embarking on this educational opportunity as a "no-brainer".

Featured topics

  • Evaluation of statistical data in medical literature
  • Assessing the strengths and weaknesses in study designs
  • Detection of bias in the presentation of statistics

Who should attend?

  • Medical communications professionals who evaluate statistical claims in medical literature
  • Professionals in the pharmaceutical or health care industry interested in learning and applying statistical concepts in clinical research or medical literature

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to better perform the following functions:

  • Identify potential bias in the presentation of statistical data
  • Discuss the statistical concepts of population, sample, bias, distribution, and variability
  • Discuss types of data, summary measures, and estimation
  • Discuss hypothesis testing, type I and type II errors, statistical power, sample size, confidence intervals, and P-values
  • Interpret the results of research papers and abstracts
  • Distinguish among study designs and identify techniques used to avoid bias
  • Use basic statistical terminology

The module takes an average of 3.5 hours to complete. (Note that this is an average time. People learn at different rates, and they explore resources and examples at different paces.)

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