Monday, November 12, 2007

Let's discuss data and statistics

There are usually three types of data collected from therapeutic plans: Frequency, Duration, and Intensity. There can also be combinations of these. What are some examples of each? Sometimes levels of assistance can be considered intensity data. If you ares not extremely careful, intensity can be very difficult to record accurately without instruments of measurement.

Before talking about statistics, there is an old story that I would like to share. There was a company that wanted to hire a statistician. They had a full day of interviews and started early in the morning with the first applicant. After asking a number of questions. One of the interviewers wrote on the board "2 + 2 =" and asked the applicant to solve the problem. This went on all day. Finally the last applicant came in. Same questions and same problem at the end but with one exception. This time the applicant got up and went to the door and glanced outside the door then locked it. The applicant then went to the window and closed the blinds. Finally the applicant moved closer to the interviewers and whispered: "What would you like the answer to be?"
The joke may sound a little outrageous; however, I am a strong believer in data, if it is collected and analyzed fairly and correctly. There is a lot of data that is not worth the paper it is written on. There is a lot of research that is absolute garbage. Usually by reading the information, including the research design or the design of the data collection, you can get an idea about the value of the data. Sometimes it is worthless as collected. Sometimes it becomes worthless by the way that it is analyzed or summarized. We’ll discuss this a little more in the subsequent postings.

Some problems with data collection (and these are not the only problems) are not factoring in other variables that may effect the data, not having a clear and concise written statement about what is being measured, and using the wrong type of data collection for the situation.

Click here to continue with this information: Now let’s discuss well written objectives

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