Use of Statistics in Infection Prevention

Author(s):
Arlene Potts, BA, MPH, CIC Research Scientist

New Jersey State Department of Health
Trenton, NJ

Published:
October 3, 2014

Abstract

This chapter introduces basic statistical knowledge that is directly applicable to the field of infection prevention and control. Although the reader is not expected to memorize formulas or know their derivation, it is important to understand the basic concepts that guide the use of the statistical tests. The formulas presented can easily be found in most statistics books, and most mathematical calculations can be performed with an inexpensive pocket calculator or in a computerized spreadsheet with a computation program. It is suggested that the reader who has never been exposed should study this material with a statistics book for further reference.