Understanding of biostatistics among the homeopathic fresh graduates and post-graduate trainees in West Bengal, India

  • Subhranil Saha Central Council of Homeopathy, Govt. of India
  • Munmun Koley Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, Govt. of India
  • Ramkumar Mondal Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
  • Monojit Kundu Council of Homeopathic Medicine, West Bengal, India
  • Aloke Ghosh Midnapore Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal
  • Shubhamoy Ghosh Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
  • Sangita Saha Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
  • Subhasish Ganguly D N De Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Keywords: Biostatistics, knowledge, attitude, fresh graduates, post-graduate trainees, homeopathy, India

Abstract

Background: A basic understanding of biostatistics is essential, both for designing quality research and evaluating medical literature. We evaluated the understanding of biostatistics and interpretation of research results among homeopathic fresh graduates’ (House Staffs; HSs) and postgraduate trainees’ (PGTs) in West Bengal, India. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of homeopathic HSs and PGTs in the four government homeopathic schools in West Bengal, India, using a pre-tested, valid and reliable biostatistics multiple choice knowledge, confidence and attitude test questionnaire. Results: Internal consistency of the used questionnaires was acceptable (Cronbach’s α = 0.611 – 0.672). Response rate was only 55.6%. Research journal reading habit was seriously lacking. No one had ever taken any research courses or possessed any advanced degrees or diplomas. The overall mean% correct on statistical knowledge was very poor, 1.0% (95% CI 0.1 – 1.9%) vs. 10.0% (95% CI 8.6 – 11.6%) for HSs and PGTs (P < 0.0001). Comparatively, higher knowledge scores were found in respondents from Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital (P = 0.003). No one could interpret an unadjusted odds ratio, Kaplan-Meier analysis results, and determine strength of evidence for risk factors. Percentages of correct answers for all other knowledge-based questions ranged between only 2.7 – 9.5%. Respondents’ self-assessed confidence in ability to understand biostatistics ranged between 41 – 60%. Positive attitude towards biostatistics was elicited in 16 – 63% respondents. Conclusions: The respondents seriously lacked knowledge in biostatistics needed to interpret research results. Training programs needs to undergo massive and immediate transformation to include more effective biostatistics training in curricula to encourage meaningful research.

Author Biographies

Subhranil Saha, Central Council of Homeopathy, Govt. of India
Senior Research Fellow, Clinical Research Unit (H), Siliguri, Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Dept. of AYUSH, MoH&FW, Govt. of India
Munmun Koley, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, Govt. of India
Senior Research Fellow, Clinical Research Unit (H), Siliguri, Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Dept. of AYUSH, MoH&FW, Govt. of India
Ramkumar Mondal, Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Internee, Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Monojit Kundu, Council of Homeopathic Medicine, West Bengal, India
Private Practice; Ramrajatala, Muchipara Road, Post office GIP Colony, Howrah 711112, West Bengal, India
Aloke Ghosh, Midnapore Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal
Lecturer, Department of Organon of Medicine and Homeopathic Philosophy; Midnapore Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal
Shubhamoy Ghosh, Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Lecturer and Head, Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Sangita Saha, Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Lecturer, Department of Organon of Medicine and Homeopathic Philosophy, Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Subhasish Ganguly, D N De Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Lecturer, Department of Organon of Medicine and Homeopathic Philosophy, D N De Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Government of West Bengal, India
Published
2014-09-20
Section
Education