Research Methods Supercourse (mirror of BA Super Help Desk   ("methods door"))

Introduction    Questions and Answers    Examples 

The BA Super Help desk is designed to answer research design and statistical questions to help you publish your research. If you have a question you can submit it to "BA Supercourse Help Desk"

We provide background materials for you to review to help answer your questions. BA Super Help Desk Introductory Lectures: The Help Desk provides lectures for 12 of the major areas to which there will be questions for the help desk. Before you contact the help desk you may consider reviewing any of these valuable lectures. In addition, if you are trying to decide what statistical test to use, we would appreciate if you review web page called Which Test 

 If you would like additional knowledge you can visit the Main Help Desk Web Pages

The Mission of the help desk is to answer specific research design questions to help you to publish. Our role will not be to teach statistics in general or to help in English translations but only to help with the research methods. We want to help you bring your research design and statistics up to a level of publishable quality. This is a free service. Please tell researchers who are having problems in publishing about our efforts.

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We are piloting the Help Desk in the Eastern Mediterranean countries before helping all countries having limited publications.

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Expert Answers

Short Question:


Obesity is a large problem locally and globally.


Hookah and Lung cancer (inspired by Jihad Irani)


Hypothesis:  Increased Hookah Smoking is related to an increase risk of lung Cancer in Lebanon


Lung cancer has become on the, if not the major forms of cancer in the past 30 years.  Much of this increase has been the result of cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking.  In Arab countries, however, one of the major doses of tar and nicotine is from Hookah (water pipe) smoking.


Hookah smoking in Arab countries is a long held social traditions.  People will often spend their time long into the night talking and smoking Hookah.  Hookah smoking is typically not considered as dangerous as cigarette smoking at the herb and spices smoked with the tobacco mask potential bitterness of the smoking.


We propose to test the hypothesis that there is a does response relationship between hookah smoking and lung cancer.  There has been research demonstrating a very high tar and nicotine content of Hookah. However there are very little data demonstrating a relationship to cancer.


We propose to develop a case control study examining Hookah Smoking using the Lebanese cancer registry. The Lebanese cancer registry is nation wide, and recruited 7888 case of cancer in 2003.  It is reasonability complete, with a 40-50% ascertainment.

Question 1:  How do I select cases

Question 2:  What would be an appropriate control


It is very important to be able to have an excellent measure of Hookah smoking.  There are several validated measures which we are investigating

Question 3:  How to I find the best measure for Hookah smoking?


One of the major difficulties is that those who smoke Hookah, typically will also smoke cigarettes. Therefore to get an unbiased assessment of Hookah Smoking and cancer, it is important to accurately identify good measures of cigarette and tobacco use.


Question 4:  What are the best measures of cigarette and tobacco use in Arab populations?



Our effort is designed to identify the independent association of Hookah use to lung cancer, controlling for cigarette smoking


Question 5:  What would be the most appropriate statistical approach to tease out the relationship of Hookah use and lung cancer.