Variables have a type

Wiki - 2016-02-20

variables

Table of contents

1. List

2. Yes-no

3. Numeric

4. Event

All the variables are not the same ! The number of days of hospitalization and the type of operation are slightly different. And that difference is important when it comes to statistics ...
There are 4 types of variables which are : list, yes-no, numeric and event.

List


You use it when you have a limited number of options for the answer.
For example, the Type of operation could be for your serie on the knee one of : Meniscectomy, Total arthroplasty, Unicompartimental arthroplasty, ACL Ligamentoplasty, Osteotomy
So you have 5 possible answers for the question : "What operation was performed on the patient ?". This is a "list" variable. In statistics, it is also called a Discrete variable

Yes-no


Very easy : you use it when the answer to the question can only be yes or no.
For example, Smoker : yes or no ? Epilepsia : yes or no ?

Numeric


This is a frequent type. Use it when the data is a number which can take any value (the number of possible values is not known before the study).
For example, the Weight of the patients could go from 40.0 kgs to 110.0 kgs but with a lot of intermediary values : 67.3, 81.2, ...
In this case, you should better use the Numeric type. In statistics, it is also called a Continuous variable

Event


You use this type when you want to track a clinical event that could happen to a patient.
For example, the Re-intervention or the date of a complication could be a noticeable event you would like to track.

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