News & Events
We usually meet on the last Wednesday of every month. These meetings are designed to build interpersonal connections and community, inform members about the work done by our committees in the previous month, and provide opportunities for learning and collaboration. All interested students, faculty, clinicians, and Yale affiliates are welcome to attend our monthly meetings.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 5:00pm. Peter Van Ness, PhD, MPH will be presenting on "Mixed Methods for Small Sample Interventions: Randomization Tests and Qualitative Interpretations."
Randomization tests are increasingly being used for small sample statistical inference by researchers in psychology, education, and other areas of the human behavioral sciences. Randomization methods can make important contributions to clinical case studies in the biomedical sciences; however, to do so most persuasively the analytical results from such applications should be interpreted as generating clinical hypotheses, rather than confirming them, and they should, when possible, be supplemented by qualitative data analyses. This article presents a methodological rationale for a mixed methods approach to small sample clinical intervention studies in which the research designs make possible the use of randomization tests and qualitative data analytical methods. An illustrative research design involving music therapeutic interventions for quality of life outcomes of older study participants is examined in some detail and a concluding argument is made that the proposed mixed methods approach is especially appropriate for early stage research in complementary and alternative medicine.
Peter Van Ness, PhD, MPH is a senior biostatistician at the Program on Aging in the Geriatrics Section of the Department of Internal Medicine of the Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the Co-Director of the Biostatistics Core of the Yale Program on Aging. He specializes in the analysis of categorical and longitudinal data. His research work addresses the statistical challenges arising in clinical research with older study participants, e.g., evaluating instrument reliability, designing small sample studies, analyzing multicomponent interventions, and handling missing data. A special research interest concerns ways to integrate qualitative and quantitative analytical methods and to generate testable explanatory hypotheses with graphical statistical methods. He is currently engaged with colleagues in developing a subdiscipline called “gerontologic biostatistics” within the American Statistical Association and elsewhere. This subdiscipline seeks to promote the training of biostatisticians for conducting collaborative clinical research with geriatricians and gerontologists and to provide the basis for the development of new statistical methodologies.
In addition to his statistical training, Dr. Van Ness has pursued advanced studies in social epidemiology and religious studies, and thereby brings a rare combination of skills to the interpretation of social and cultural factors that influence the health of older populations. Dr. Van Ness is a Lecturer in the Yale School of Public Health and teaches a course there entitled “Religion, Health, and Society.” He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Religion and Health and a reviewer for several epidemiological journals. Dr. Van Ness has served on several occasions as an ad hoc member of the NIH Aging Systems and Geriatrics study section.
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