Statistical applications in health and social research

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Alan Kenny eThesis Final.pdf(3.82 MB)
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Kenny, Alan
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University College Cork
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The MSc comprised four projects based on different statistical techniques. Each project is an individual chapter in the thesis and has been written independently. The first project is based on a student-wide survey conducted by University College Cork (UCC) to examine the student experience. As this study was unique to the Irish college system, factor analysis was employed to validate the use of purpose-built scales. Reliability analysis was conducted to determine if the scales were internally consistent, and the results of factor and reliability analysis and summary results were presented. The second project focuses on 15O Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging Data and its ability to quantify underlying metabolic processes, namely cerebral blood flow in an Alzheimer’s disease patient. Kinetic analysis, using a 1-compartmental model, was employed and functional parameters were estimated. The technique was validated through comparisons with a non-parametric approach. This study confirmed that there was lower blood flow in brain regions that are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The third project is an actuarial study, which explores the process known as graduation by standard table. Using information collected from a population, a set of crude rates are deduced. These rates need to be improved using the graduation by standard table method. Our graduated rates are then tested using five statistical tests to verify they are reliable. This study confirmed that use of the graduation method could improve crude rates to make them reliable. The fourth project focuses on structural empowerment in an Irish nursing context. Our study concentrates specifically on perceptions of formal power. Univariate analysis was conducted to identify associations between demographic characteristics and perception of formal power. Multivariate regression was used to identify which combination of demographic characteristics significantly affected a respondent’s perception of formal power. Respondents’ perceptions of formal power were in line with previous studies.
Statistical applications , Health and social research , Statistical techniques , Purpose-built scales , Positron emission tomography , PET
Kenny, A. 2022. Statistical applications in health and social research. MRes Thesis, University College Cork.