ATTITUDE OF TEACHING FACULTY TOWARDS STATISTICS AT A MEDICAL UNIVERSITY IN KARACHI, PAKISTAN

Nazeer Khan, Yasmin Mumtaz

Abstract


Background: Statistics is mainly used in biological research to verify the clinicians and researchers
findings and feelings, and gives scientific validity for their inferences. In Pakistan, the educational
curriculum is developed in such a way that the students who are interested in entering in the field of
biological sciences do not study mathematics after grade 10. Therefore, due to their fragile background
of mathematical skills, the Pakistani medical professionals feel that they do not have adequate base to
understand the basic concepts of statistical techniques when they try to use it in their research or read a
scientific article. The aim of the study was to assess the attitude of medical faculty towards statistics.
Methods: A questionnaire containing 42 close-ended and 4 open-ended questions, related to the
attitude and knowledge of statistics, was distributed among the teaching faculty of Dow University of
Health Sciences (DUHS). One hundred and sixty-seven filled questionnaires were returned from 374
faculty members (response rate 44.7%). Results: Forty-three percent of the respondents claimed that
they had ‘introductive’ level of statistics courses, 63% of the respondents strongly agreed that a good
researcher must have some training in statistics, 82% of the faculty was in favour (strongly agreed or
agreed) that statistics was really useful for research. Only 17% correctly stated that statistics is the
science of uncertainty. Half of the respondents accepted that they have problem of writing the statistical
section of the article. 64% of the subjects indicated that statistical teaching methods were the main
reasons for the impression of its difficulties. 53% of the faculty indicated that the co-authorship of the
statistician should depend upon his/her contribution in the study. Gender did not show any significant
difference among the responses. However, senior faculty showed higher level of the importance for the
use of statistics and difficulties of writing result section of articles as compared to junior faculty.
Conclusion: The study showed a low level of knowledge, but high level of the awareness for the use of
statistical techniques in research and exhibited a good level of motivation for further training.
Keywords: Attitude, statistics, knowledge of medical faculty, knowledge about SPSS.

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