• Users Online: 392
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 


 
 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 54-58

Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and perception about biostatistics among faculty and postgraduate students in a dental institution, Bengaluru City — A cross-sectional survey


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vydehi Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication3-Aug-2018

Correspondence Address:
Sapna Vijayan
Raj Nivas, Narokkavu, Kunnummal Potty (PO) Edakkara, Malappuram - 679 331, Kerala
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_22_18

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 


Objectives: The purpose of the study was to assess knowledge, attitude, and perception about biostatistics among faculty and postgraduate students in a dental institution. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among faculty and postgraduate students in a dental institution, Bengaluru city. A questionnaire containing 20 items on the domains knowledge, attitude, and perception and demographic detail, was administered. The response rate was obtained using a Likert scale ranging from 0 to 5. Reliability of the questionnaire was assessed using Cronbach's α (0.80), and face validity was confirmed with the help of experts. Results: The knowledge about biostatistics was better among postgraduate students (mean 1.15, standard deviation [SD] 0.12) when compared to staff members (mean 0.89, SD 0.42). Regarding attitude toward biostatistics majority of the staff members felt statistics is complicated (mean 1.10, SD 0.13), it is best left to experts (mean 0.98, SD 0.01) when compared to postgraduate students (mean 0.84 SD 0.60, mean 0.69 SD 0.52) respectively, Majority of the staff members felt difficult to write the statistical section in scientific writing (mean 0.98, SD 0.13) when compared to postgraduate students (mean 0.78, SD 0.42). All the results were found to be statistically significant at P < 0.05. Conclusion: Postgraduates students were found to have better knowledge about biostatistics when compared to staff members, majority of the staff members felt biostatistics is complicated, difficult to write statistical section in scientific writing when compared to postgraduate students.

Keywords: Attitude, biostatistics, faculty, knowledge, perception, postgraduate students


How to cite this article:
Sujatha B K, T. Reddy MN, Vijayan S. Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and perception about biostatistics among faculty and postgraduate students in a dental institution, Bengaluru City — A cross-sectional survey. J Dent Res Rev 2018;5:54-8

How to cite this URL:
Sujatha B K, T. Reddy MN, Vijayan S. Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and perception about biostatistics among faculty and postgraduate students in a dental institution, Bengaluru City — A cross-sectional survey. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Jun 27];5:54-8. Available from: https://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2018/5/2/54/238533




  Introduction Top


When we hear the word “Statistics,” the first thought which comes to our mind is that it is a “Mathematical term” and probably few among us may assume to be limited to those having a mathematical background. The fact which lies here is that, only a few in the general population, let apart from those related to this field of statistics; know about these statistical concepts and its vast application in various fields.[1],[2]

Biostatistics or medical statistics is the study of statistics in relation to biological science (such as biological, social, and environmental factors).[3] In medical education, biostatistics is taught at undergraduate level without emphasis on its practical aspects and applications. An improved understanding of biostatistics is necessary for clinicians. Actually, this branch of statistics collects the mathematical factors and data related to health, preventive medicine, and disease.[4]

Biostatistics is a branch of applied statistics, a science consisting of statistical techniques and methods used in the field of health sciences. For this reason, the role of principles and methods of biostatistics has continued to gain in importance to date regarding scientific studies carried out in the fields such as medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmaceutics, and biology. Day-by-day doctors and other researchers working in the field of health sciences become more aware of their needs for the principles and methods of biostatistics. As a result of the need for biostatistics, the importance of biostatistics education in the field of health sciences has increased, and biostatistics lessons have been placed into the curriculums of both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, and in Addition, courses in biostatistics are being arranged for researchers on a more frequent basis.[5]

Articles in dental publications frequently include both descriptive and inferential statistics. To a great extent, authors (and editors) of dental publications rely on professional statisticians who are experts in the field and have more than just a casual familiarity with dentistry. There is a need to figure out the associated dilemmas in concluding the statistical data. The proper use and understanding of statistics are necessary to differentiate between the “gold” and the “dross.”[6]

The inadequacy of biostatistics knowledge specified above can be summarized as the perception of biostatistics as a difficult field, lack of sufficiently understanding the importance of biostatics, inadequate biostatistics lessons in the curricula, minimal interest or desire to learn about biostatistics, inability to foresee the absolute need for biostatistics in studies to be executed and/or realizing its importance after the education process and the insufficiencies of problem based approach, applications during the education process.[5]

Statistical knowledge can lead to the attitude of dental professionals toward the subject, but as a whole, it depends on their perception about the same. Hence, the objective of this survey was to evaluate the knowledge, attitude, and perception of dental professionals toward the biostatistics as it will further help in improving the teaching methods of the subject.

Aim

The aim of this study is to assessment of knowledge, attitude, and perception about biostatistics among faculty and postgraduate students in a dental institution, Bengaluru city — a cross-sectional survey.


  Materials and Methods Top


A cross-sectional survey was carried out among the faculty and postgraduate students in Bengaluru city. The study was done for 1 month in September to October 2015. The study was carried out among 58 postgraduate students and 55 faculty members based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Inclusion criteria

  • All the postgraduate students and the faculty members were included in this study.


Exclusion criteria

  • Those who did not give consent for the study were excluded.


Organization and administration workout

  1. Ethical clearance: The study proposal was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Vydehi Institute of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru
  2. Informed consent: The purpose and details of the study were explained to the study participants, and written consent was then obtained from them.


Pilot study

A pilot study was conducted among 20 postgraduate students and 20 faculty members of Vydehi Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre, to check the feasibility and to validate the questionnaire. Face validity of the questionnaire was checked by asking experts to scrutinize the questions, while content validity was checked by ensuring that the questions covered all the areas of knowledge, attitude, and perception mapped out by initial objective. The reliability of the questionnaire was examined using Cronbach's α and it was found to be 0.8.

Study design and questionnaire

A self-administered questionnaire, containing consent form, questions about demographic details, and self-assessment instrument was used for the study.

The demographic details were name, age, gender, qualification, department, and ever taken course in biostatistics.

The knowledge, attitude, and perception assessment were performed using a self-assessment questionnaire, and the response options were graded on 6-point Likert scale ranging from − 2: Strongly disagree to 2: Strongly agree. The instrument consists of 20 questions which are divided into three dimensions, knowledge (7 questions), attitude (7 questions), and perception (6 questions) questionnaire. Validation of the questionnaire for use in the present study was conducted on 40 individuals.

Statistical analysis

Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis has been carried out in the present study. Results on continuous measurements are presented on mean ± standard deviation, and the results on categorical measurements are presented in percentages. Level of significance is set at 5%. Chi-square test, and Mann—Whitney-U test has been used to find the significance of study parameters on categorical scale. The Statistical software, namely SPSS 18 Version, IBM, Chicago, USA. was used for the analysis of the data, and Microsoft Word and Excel have been used to generate graphs and tables.


  Results Top


Among the 58 postgraduate study participants 16, i.e. 27.5% were male and 42, i.e. 72.4% were female. Among 55 faculty members 24, i.e. 43.6% were male and 31, i.e. 56.3% were female. The result was not statistically significant at P > 0.05, χ2 = 0.08.

Among the 58 postgraduate study participants, 6, i.e. 10.3% had enrolled in biostatistics course whereas, out of 55 faculty members 4, i.e. 7.2% had attended biostatistics course and it was not statistically significant at P > 0.05, χ2 = 0.74.

Assessment of knowledge was done using a set of seven questions in the questionnaire and for the questions: Interpret the results of a statistical method used in research and identify the factors that influence a study's power, the results was found to be significant (P < 0.05, 0.05) [Table 1].
Table 1: Knowledge, attitude and perception about biostatistics among postgraduate students and faculty members

Click here to view


Assessment of attitude was done using a set of seven questions in the questionnaire. Both the postgraduate students and faculty were found to have negative attitude toward biostatistics quoting statistics is too complicated, it is best if left to experts, statistics is mathematic oriented. However, the result was not significant (P = 0.64, 0.08, and 0.33, respectively) [Table 1].

Assessment of perception was done using a set of six questions in the questionnaire and for the questions: Statistics is best left to experts, statistics is too complicated, my training in statistics is adequate for my needs was found to be highly significant (P = 0.001, 0.02, and 0.001, respectively) [Table 1].


  Discussion Top


Biostatistics remains a critical methodological skill for researchers, as statistical methods are increasingly a necessary part of medical research. It is doubtful if one can adequately interpret the literature without adequate knowledge of biostatistics. For example, if an incorrect test is used in a study, then invalid results and misleading conclusions may be drawn from the study.[6]

A basic familiarity with research methods is essential for competent medical and dental practice. The best way to gain this familiarity is to take part in a research projects, either as a medical/dental student.[7] Hence, it is important for the postgraduates to be aware of basic knowledge of biostatistics.

In the present study, a significant difference was seen among faculty and postgraduate students for the level of knowledge in biostatistics. The postgraduate students had better knowledge about biostatistics than the faculty members. Our results are in agreement with a study conducted by Wulff et al.,[8] who also concluded that statistical knowledge of doctors was unsatisfactory when it came to biostatistics whereas, a study was done by Kiliç and Celık[5] showed that the level of knowledge was more in faculty members than in postgraduate students.

In the present study, no significant difference was seen between faculty and postgraduate students for the attitude toward biostatistics which are in accordance with the study conducted by Khan and Mumtaz[9] and contradictory to a study by Batra, et al.[10] which showed high significant difference.

A study was done by Wadhwa, et al.[11] showed that significant difference in questions such as feeling difficult to write statistical section, biostatisticians are more helpful as consultant for perception of biostatistics, and the results are in accordance with the present study.

The limitations of the present study are as follows: as questionnaire was used to assess knowledge, attitude, and practices, the Social desirability bias (tendency of respondents to answer questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others) central tendency bias (respondents try to avoid extreme statements), and acquiescence bias (tend to agree with the presented statements) are likely.


  Conclusion Top


Postgraduates students were found to have better knowledge about biostatistics when compared to staff members, majority of the staff members felt biostatistics is complicated, difficult to write statistical section in scientific writing when compared to postgraduate students.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


  Questionnaire Top






 
  References Top

1.
Steen LA. Mathematics and Democracy. The Case for Quantitative Literacy. 2001. p. 6-18, 80-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Earp MS. Development and Validation of the Statistics Anxiety Measure (720) 217-5824. 2007. p. 1.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Suryakantha AH. Community Medicine with Recent Advances. 3rd ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers, Medical Publishers (P).; 2013. p. 653.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Mahajan BK, Gupta MC. Text Book of Preventive and Social Medicine. 3rd ed. Jaypee Brothers, Medical Publishers (P) Ltd; 2005. p. 371.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Kiliç I, Celık B. The views of academic staff on biostatistics education in health sciences. Int J Health Sci (Qassim) 2013;7:142-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Akinsola Aj, James O, Ibikunle Aa, Adeyemo, WL. Niger J Exp Clin Biol 2018;2:100-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Sharma, et al. Knowledge, attitude, and practices in research among postgraduate students in dental institutions in Bengaluru city, India. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2014;12:189-93.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Wulff HR, Andersen B, Brandenhoff P, Guttler F. What do doctors know about statistics? Stat Med 1987;6:3-10.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Khan N, Mumtaz Y. Attitude of teaching faculty towards statistics at a medical university in Karachi, Pakistan. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2009;21:166-71.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Batra M, Gupta M, Dany SS, Rajput P. Perception of dental professionals towards biostatistics. Int Sch Res Notices 2014;2014:291807.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Wadhwa M, Kalyan P, Kalantarakath T. Knowledge and attitude of medical dental post graduate students toward practice of biostatistics. J Postgrad Med Educ Res 2015;49:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 11
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]


This article has been cited by
1 Knowledge, Attitude, and Perception about Biostatistics among Health Researchers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Prathibha Anand Nayak,Esraa Hamdan Aljohani,Maram Abdulhabib Ali,Badriah Khalid Fatihi,Norah Abdullah Alzubedy,Ullal Anand Nayak
Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences. 2021; 10(31): 2439
[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Materials and Me...
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
Questionnaire
References
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed2619    
    Printed97    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded415    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]