Explain what descriptive statistics is and how it is used in epidemiology.

Getting Started

For this discussion, you will learn about descriptive statistics and its use in epidemiology. Descriptive statistics are used to describe and summarize large amounts of data in a meaningful way. Examples of descriptive statistics are mean, median, mode, and range. The data is presented in graphs, charts, and tables. These visual displays are very useful in communicating information about the characteristics of participants and phenomena in a study. Nurses in practice, leadership roles, and research need to be able to understand and use this data to make changes in health care that lead to improved patient outcomes.

Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish the difference between the four levels of measurement.
  • Explain what descriptive statistics is and how it is used in epidemiology.


  1. Review the rubric to ensure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. Read from your textbook Chapter 5.
  3. Review the Chapter 5 PowerPoint file(PowerPoint presentation).
    1. Read: Research 101: Descriptive Statistics(new tab)
    2. Read: Navigating Statistics for Successful Project Implementation(new tab)
    3. Watch the Video: Understanding Levels of Measurement(new tab)
    4. Watch the Video: Descriptive Statistics vs. Inferential Statistics(new tab)
  4. Write an initial response to the following prompts:
    1. Identify and describe the four levels of measurement and give an example from your practice for each level.
    2. Describe the difference between mean, median, mode, and variability.
    3. Using an example from work, calculate the mean, median, mode, and interquartile range for a set of data (20 data points) you might collect at work, such as blood sugar, systolic blood pressure, or cholesterol level. Post your example.
  5. Support your initial discussion post with references that are relevant, scholarly, peer-reviewed sources, or authoritative professional organizations. You can utilize IWU Online Campus Library Services(new tab) to help locate these sources.
  6. Use APA Style(new tab) for all citations and references.

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