Gurka Develops New Statistical Resource Column for The Journal of Pediatrics

Matthew GurkaAs statistical tools grow more and more complex, some medical professionals may find it difficult to evaluate certain studies published in medical journals. But Matthew Gurka, Ph.D., will gladly provide support in “Statistics, Explained,” a new column he developed for The Journal of Pediatrics.

In easy-to-understand language, Gurka’s column will explore and explain some of the study designs and statistical analyses used in articles throughout the journal.

The first column, “The Use of Bayesian Analysis Techniques in Pediatric Research,” debuted in the February 2019 issue. Gurka, a professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics (HOBI) and associate director of the Institute for Child Health Policy (ICHP), also serves on the journal’s editorial board.

The column will help readers define the strengths and weaknesses of surveyed statistical methods in evaluating the significance of results published in scientific journals.

“Basically, we will have periodic one- to two-page articles that summarize, in non-technical terms, a particular statistical methodology that aligns with an article in the journal that uses it,” Gurka said. “We are hoping to help readers understand some of the more complex methods that are being used in the journal.”

Gurka hopes his new reader-friendly column will break down some of the technical barriers that sometimes prevent researchers from addressing challenging pediatric research questions.