Can descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation be used to analyse or answer research questions containing both independent and dependent variables in a study?
Thank you for posting the query on our platform. Longitudinal variables (e.g. Height/weight) in two/more categories/groups can be done by comparing means or medians, depending on the normality of the data. Means are used when the data is normally distributed whilst medians are useful to compare skewed data. In addition, decision regarding which statistical test to apply is equally important. Please refer to our e-book of clinical biostatistics to understand the intricacies of statistical analysis. Although this e-book mainly focuses on biostatistics – it also clarifies several useful concepts about statistical analysis in general.
Regarding statistical programs, SPSS and GraphPad PRISM are widely used. Although they are paid softwares, most universities nowadays tend to provide their premium versions to all their staff and students. Notably, Microsoft Excel can also be used for complex analysis.