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Biostatistics news and events

Karere me ngā mahi

Biostatistician contributes to NZ soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder research

Dr Ari Samaranayaka from the Centre for Biostatistics was the lead biostatistician on a project that recently attracted media attention. In TV1 news on 24th April, Associate Professor David McBride described findings of a comprehensive survey by Otago researchers that examined post-traumatic stress disorder among serving and retired New Zealand military personnel. Ari contributed to the study design, analyses, interpretation and dissemination of this study. Congratulations Ari on your contributions to such an important piece of research!

View the TVNZ1 news article –24 April 2020

Download the published research article (PDF)

Consent has been given by Associate Professor David McBride to promote this research on our website.

Regression modelling course

28 and 29 November 2019

Regressioin3 Biostatistics thumbnailOn the 28th and 29th of November 2019, Associate Professor James Stanley came down from the Wellington campus to run a two-day workshop on regression. We covered simple linear, multiple linear, logistic and poisson regression. There was even time for some talk of model selection and functional forms. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time for all involved (or so we believe). A number of biostatisticians also joined in which lead to some interesting discussions in class. The attendees were very engaged with the subject and, as always, the food was outstanding!

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New Zealand Statistics Association conference

28th November 2019

Biostatistics seminar Robin Turner thumbnailRecently the Director of the Centre, Robin Turner, presented at the New Zealand Statistics Association conference, held in Dunedin. Her presentation was about teaching biostatistics to clinical researchers. This is based on her experience running the Introductory Biostatistics workshops.
Visit the New Zealand Statistical Association Conference website
Check out the Centre’s workshop programme here

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Mid-winter Biostatistics get together

11 September 2019

Biostatistics dinner group thumbOn July 31, as a mid-winter pick-me-up, many in the Centre for Biostatistics (Claire, Jill, Ella, Robin, Ari and, honorarily, Jimmy) went out for a Turkish meal at Paasha (a Dunedin restaurant). Several of our Mathematics and Statistics friends joined us (Peter Dillingham, Matt Parry and John Harraway). We had a grand old time. It was lovely to have some partners come along also (Christina, Andy and Rua (photographer).

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Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate achieves distinction

18 July 2019

Warinthon Baker thumbWarinthon Baker talks about her experience of having biostatistical expertise in her supervisory team from the early phase of her research design. She went on to achieve distinction for her thesis.

"Superb guidance from my wonderful supervisory team prepared me to be fortunate enough to graduate with a distinction, and to publish a first-author paper in a reputed international journal."
Read Warinthon's testimonial

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24-hour time-use in children

27 June 2019

Palaky University thumb
Dr Jill Haszard at Palaký University.

Dr Jill Haszard gave an invited talk at the INTUE conference held at Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, this month. (INTUE: International Network of Time-Use Epidemiologists).

She spoke about some of the compositional data analysis work that she is undertaking in the Department of Medicine, looking at 24-hour time-use in children and associations with health.

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Biostatistics reveals surge in Legionnaires' disease

24 June 2019

Claire Cameron and Patricia Priest tn
Senior Research Fellow Claire Cameron with first author Associate Professor Patricia Priest.

Senior Research Fellow Claire Cameron was the biostatistician on a national surveillance study that found that there are three times as many cases of Legionnaires’ disease in New Zealand as previously reported.

Her contribution included input through the data collection process through to revisions of the manuscripts. The analysis required the calculation of age-standardised rates which required combining information gathered from the national study with data obtained from Statistics New Zealand.

The work was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases on June 11, 2019: The burden of Legionnaires' disease in New Zealand (LegiNZ): a national surveillance study_

Read more in the media release:
Researchers find triple as many Legionnaires' cases as previously reported

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Research Directions: Compositional analysis

In Research Directions centre members talk about some of the analytical challenges their varied work can present, and what has sparked new lines of interest for them.

Dr Jill Haszard on compositional analysis

Jillian Haszard thumbnail In 2018 I spent some time immersed in learning how to analyse compositional data, with specific reference to 24-hour time-use in children. This has application when looking at sleep, sedentary behaviour, and physical activity in relation to health outcomes (such as BMI and bone health). Because time spent in all activities of the day is constrained to 24 hours, if time spent in one activity (e.g. sleep) is increased then time spent in at least one of the other activities necessarily decreases. This interdependence is important to consider and adds considerable complexity to the statistical analysis.

As part of the wider research team of a large randomised controlled trial we were able to apply compositional analysis techniques to explore these relationships in Dunedin infants and young children, and published our investigation in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in December. This has sparked a new interest for me and I now have several manuscripts using compositional analysis in the works.

Read more in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity:
24-h movement behaviors from infancy to preschool: cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships with body composition and bone health

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