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How to: Statistics decrypted – a comprehensive review and smartphone-assisted five-step approach for good statistical practice
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  • Laura Guglielmetti,
  • Fabio Faber-Castell,
  • Lukas Fink,
  • Raphael Vuille-dit-Bille
Laura Guglielmetti
Cantonal Hospital Winterthur
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Fabio Faber-Castell
University Hospital Zurich
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Lukas Fink
Cantonal School of Wil
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Raphael Vuille-dit-Bille
University Children’s Hospital Basel

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Background Statistic scripts are often made by mathematicians and cryptic for clinicians or non-mathematician scientists. Nevertheless, almost all research projects necessitate the application of some statistical tests or at least an understanding thereof. The present review aims on giving an overview of the most common statistical terms and concepts. It further ensures good statistical practice by providing a five-step approach guiding the reader to the correct statistical test. Methods and Results First, different types of variables and measurements to describe a data set with means of descriptive statistics are introduced. The basic thoughts and tools of interferential statistics are presented, and different types of bias are discussed. Then in the final paragraph, the most commonly used statistical tests are described. A smartphone app accessable via QR code finally guides the reader in five steps to the correct statistical test, depending on the data used in order to avoid commonly performed mistakes. Conclusions. The five-step approach sets a new minimal standard for good statistical practice.