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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-6

Types of variables in medical research

Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Shivam Pandey
Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpcs.jpcs_14_20

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Formulation of a research question is the initial and important step in any research work. Depending on the research questions to be answered, the researchers decide the statistical methods to be used for the analysis. Researchers have to be acquainted with a variety of variables involved in their study to choose appropriate diagrams/graphs and summary measures for presentation and to valid statistical tests for the analysis of data. The type of variable also decides the type of statistical analyses to be performed, whether parametric or nonparametric. Parametric methods, such as t-tests, ANOVA, Pearson correlation, and regression, require that the data follow a normal distribution. Frequently used nonparametric methods such as Mann–Whitney or Wilcoxon rank-sum test and rank correlation make no assumptions on the distribution of the data. Failure to pay attention to assumptions may lead to increase in type I or type II error rates.

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