Wednesday, 19 December 2012

List of media coverage from recent paper: Weekday Affects Attendance Rate for Medical Appointments...

Ellis DA, Jenkins R (2012) Weekday Affects Attendance Rate for Medical Appointments: Large-Scale Data Analysis and Implications. PLOS ONE 7(12): e51365. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051365

The paper is open access however, an infographic summarising the main findings of the study can be found here. 

Media Coverage (last update 18/02/2013)

BBC Radio 4. The Today Programme (Flagship early morning news and current affairs)

BBC News Channel. News headlines (National television news and current affairs; rotation)

BBC Scotland. Reporting Scotland. (National television news and current affairs)

BBC Radio Scotland. Good Morning Scotland. (Scottish breakfast radio news)

BBC Radio Ulster. Talkback. (News and on-air reaction to breaking stories)

Radio Clyde. News headlines (National radio news and current affairs; rotation)

Publication: BBC News 
Title: BBC News - NHS appointments at the start of the week 'more likely to be missed'

Publication: The Herald

Title: Medical 'no shows' cost NHS £600m

Publication: The Evening Times

Title: 'Monday blues' hit Glasgow appointments

Publication: The British Psychology Society
Title: Hospital appointments and the Monday blues

Publication: The Daily Mail 
Title: Why the Monday blues means you should make your appointments for the end of the week

Publication: The Scottish Daily Mail 
Title: The doctor will see you... later in the week 
(print edition only)

Publication: University of Glasgow
Title: Monday blues explain why patients miss hospital and GP appointments

Publication: Teesside University

Title: Tackling the cost of missed GP appointments


Title: More GP appointments missed at start of week

Publication: Zesty

Title: Thousands of NHS appointments 'more likely to be missed' on Mondays

Publication: Simply Health
Title: Monday blues and missed medical appointments linked

Publication: Nursing Times

Title: Monday blues may increase likelihood of DNA

Publication: Commissioning.GP

Title: More DNAs for GP appointments at the beginning of the week

Publication: The British Medical Journal
Title: Appointments later in the week are less likely to be missed, finds study

Publication: MJOG
Title: DNAs increase with "Monday Blues"

Publication: AVIVA
Title: Monday blues 'responsible for missed appointments'

Publication: Healthcare Today
Title: Appointments at the beginning of week more likely to be missed

Publication: BioPortfolio
Title: Appointments at the beginning of week more likely to be missed

Publication: Rights & Wrongs
Title: Medical 'Monday Blues' for missed appointments

Publication: Human Health & Science
Title: 'Monday Blues' hit appointments

Publication: Men's Health
Title: The best time to schedule a doctors appointment

Publication: Spire Healthcare
Title: Monday blues 'equals no-show' for early week GP appointments

Publication: Glasgow City of Science
Title: Monday blues explain why patients miss hospital and GP appointments

Publication: Child and Maternal Health Observatory
Title: Weekday affects attendance rate for medical appointments

Publication: OnMedica
Title: More appointments missed on Mondays

Publication: My Science
Title: Monday blues explain why patients miss hospital and GP appointments

Publication: Prevention
Title: The best time for a doctor's appointment

Publication: Health Canal
Title: Monday blues explain why patients miss hospital and GP appointments

Publication: Brighton/Bristol /Edinburgh/Glasgow/Liverpool/London Wired
Title: NHS appointments at the start of the week 'more likely to be missed'

Publication: Pathway Software
Title: More DNA's for NHS appointments at the start of the week

Publication: Nursing Personnel
Title: Monday Blues

Publication: Medical Xpress
Title: Monday blues explain why patients miss hospital and GP appointements

Publication: primenetwork
Title: I don't like Mondays (or January)

Publication: NBC News
Title: Worst day for a doctor's appointment is...

Publication: Progress
Title: Patients miss Monday appointments

Publication: The Daily Express
Title: Best day to see the dentist
(print edition only)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Why are we still paying for statistical software?

'What programme should I use to analyse this data?'

About ten years ago there was little choice and expensive software would have arrived in a box containing a CD-ROM!

I still have SPSS and MATLAB in my applications folder. They don't come on CDs anymore, but from a central university server. Like CDs however, these programmes are on the verge of becoming a redundant medium. 

Given the choice of free tools available today, how are commercial alternatives going to survive? IBM acquired SPSS a few years back for $1.2 billion, which I am not convinced was a particularly smart move. 

Psychologists typically want to test predictions, visualise data and produce models. That said, additional functionality can often be required quickly and unexpectedly as a research project or idea develops. An open-source community allows for a flexibility that paid alternatives do not offer (yet).

The basic SPSS package has barely changed in the last decade, which is a long time for a piece of software. Microsoft took a similar approach with Windows XP, which in turn stagnated development and led to several high-profile disasters. Did anyone ever have anything good to say about Windows ME or Windows Vista?

Extra functionality beyond the basic SPSS package will involve an additional financial outlay. Alternatively, you could just go and get a free library for R that does the same thing that gets better on a monthly rather than annual basis.  

IBM and MathWorks are responding to these new developments by simply ignoring them. The record industry took a similar approach to the MP3 file. By the time they acknowledged its existence the whole distribution of music had changed beyond recognition.

Apple took a different approach with software development. 

Developer kits previously cost hundreds if not thousands of pounds 10 or 15 years ago. Now Apple makes the iPhone development kit avalible for free and profits from the creatively that this propagates. They have successfully adapted the business model to fit a change in consumer behaviour. 

I am not suggesting that commercial statistical programmes should be given away for free, but history would suggest that no change at all is likely to result in long-term obscurity.  Given their resources, IBM should have opened up SPSS to user development years ago and taken a similar approach where people could pay a small free for well-developed home-brew modules. 

Some clever person will develop a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for R that will give it the same point and click functionality as SPSS. It will cost the end-user zero pounds. R Studio for example, already provides a very similar MATLAB interface. 

What then for SPSS?