# Thread: I'm having difficulty understanding these statistical terms!

1. ## I'm having difficulty understanding these statistical terms!

Hello!
I'm reading a paper on HIV screening, (testing HIV test acceptance percentage by test offer eg. opt in, opt out and active choice). I want to fully understand this paper, (I go to medical school, so I would like simple as possible explanations I'm not used to complex maths!)

I'm very new to all of this research/statistics and I don't study maths, so I'm having a bit of a tough time understanding some of the mathematical and statistical terms.

Could you help me understand some of the terms in the following paragraph? (If you could explain them as simply as possible, I'd be really grateful!)

Here is the paragraph -

"The primary outcome was test acceptance percentage. In addition to overall acceptance and acceptance percentage by treatment, we examined test acceptance for subgroups defined by HIV related risk behaviors, adjusted for demographics; we estimated treatment effects from univariate and multivariate ordinary least squares regressions. In the tables, we report raw linear regression coefficients, which have the benefit that they are directly interpretable as the difference in the proportion of participants who accepted an HIV test; interaction effects between study arm and risk level are similarly easily interpretable."

Here are my questions -

What do they mean by "adjusted for demographics?"

What does "univariate and multivariate ordinary least squares regressions" mean!?

What does "In the tables, we report raw linear regression coefficients" mean!?

Thank you to anyone who offers help, it really is appreciated!!

2. ## Re: I'm having difficulty understanding these statistical terms!

My interpretations without reading the whole paper:

What do they mean by "adjusted for demographics?"
effects could have differed based on baseline demographic variables, so they included them in the model. So if I was looking at lung cancer and asbestos, I would want to control for cigarette smoking. So I add it to the model for it to claim its share of explaining the outcome.

What does "univariate and multivariate ordinary least squares regressions" mean!?
Depends, these terms can get muddled in literate. I would call uni as predicting one variable at a time and multi that many variable were predicted in the model. ordinary least squares reg is a model that predicts a continuous variable by finding estimates as close to the observations as possible.

What does "In the tables, we report raw linear regression coefficients" mean!?
The above model produces slope coefficients for the variables, so for increase in years of infection result in a blank decrease in WBC. The relationship between predictor and outcome.

P.S., These were very terse and basic explanation to get you going in the right direction. Ask more questions if needed and look up terms in more detail online.

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