For medical and health workers this book is a must-have, because statistical methods in these fields are vital, and no equivalent work is available. For medical and health students this is equally true.
A unique point is its low threshold, textually simple and at the same time full of self-assessment opportunities. Other unique points are the succinctness of the chapters with 3 to 6 pages, the presence of entire-commands-texts of the statistical methodologies reviewed and the fact that dull scientific texts imposing an unnecessary burden on busy and jaded professionals have been left out. For readers requesting more background, theoretical and mathematical information a note section with references is in each chapter.
The first edition in 2010 was the first publication of a complete overview of SPSS methodologies for medical and health statistics. Well over 100,000 copies of various chapters were sold within the first year of publication. Reasons for a rewrite were four.
First, many important comments from readers urged for a rewrite. Second, SPSS has produced many updates and upgrades, with relevant novel and improved methodologies. Third, the authors felt that the chapter texts needed some improvements for better readability: chapters have now been classified according the outcome data helpful for choosing your analysis rapidly, a schematic overview of data, and explanatory graphs have been added. Fourth, current data are increasingly complex and many important methods for analysis were missing in the first edition.
For that latter purpose some more advanced methods seemed unavoidable, like hierarchical loglinear methods, gamma and Tweedie regressions and random intercept analyses. In order for the contents of the book to remain covered by the title, the authors renamed the book: SPSS for Starters and 2nd Levelers.
Special care was, nonetheless, taken to keep things as simple as possible. Medical and health professionals tend to dislike software syntax. Therefore, virtually no syntax, but, rather, simple menu commands are given. The arithmetic is still of a no-more-than high-school level. Step-by-step analyses of different statistical methodologies are given with the help of 60 SPSS data files available through the internet. Because of the lack of time of this busy group of people, the authors have given every effort to produce a text as succinct as possible.