Statistics and Medical Practice-Based Evidence: A New Paradigm for Comparative Effectiveness Research

Start: 10/30/2014 - 4:15pm
End  : 10/30/2014 - 5:15pm

Statistics/OR/Math Finance Seminar

Susan D. Horn


A mathematics major provides students with a pathway to many different careers. Mathematics education stimulates logical thinking and attention to detail that is useful no matter what careers you follow in the future.

I will describe my early interest in mathematics, music, and medicine and how it led to a Ph.D. in statistics and creation of a new research study design to discover medical interventions that are associated with better clinical outcomes in real-world patients. Today the news is rich with controversy about this treatment vs. that treatment, and what insurers and governments are willing to pay for.  Comparative effectiveness research (CER) examines relationships between medical treatments and patient outcomes.  Of course, to make meaningful comparisons of medical interventions, one must consider differences of patient populations, intervention combinations, and outcomes.  I will describe various approaches to CER, including my Practice-Based Evidence (PBE) study design, and will describe examples of PBE study findings (including managed care, pediatric infections, and stroke and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation), and how these findings changed national medical practice.  Mathematics has indeed provided an exciting pathway for me to learn about and contribute to many different scientific fields.

Seeley Mudd Science Library 126, Pomona College