JamBag
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I'm currently working on my project proposal for my dissertation next year.

I'm proposing an observational study where I change nothing, so I don't see the point of any statistical tests but they want them included regardless.

My aim is:

The aim of this study is to document the radioactivity of cats post-radioiodine treatment for 2 weeks in the cattery to evaluate the length of time that is required to isolate them in line with UK radiation laws.

And my objectives are:

  • 1) To document background radiation using dosimeters of the cats’ post radioiodine treatment to determine the cumulative radiation over a two-week period.
  • 2) To document the decline of the cats’ radioactivity over a two-week period post radioiodine treatment.
  • 3) To document the decline of the radioactivity of the cat’s excreta over a two-week period post radioiodine treatment.

The I-131 doses will be noted BUT thats not something I'm changing, that is decided by the vet along the normal protocol.

Plan is to measure the cats' radiation (thyroid and excreta) Every 3 days during their 14 day stay after treatment. I also plan to measure their cumulative radiation by putting a dosimeter on the front of their kennel and then finding out what it is on the 14th day.

So my question is, what statistical tests can I run so I keep my lecturers happy?
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Gregorius
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(Original post by JamBag)
I'm currently working on my project proposal for my dissertation next year.

I'm proposing an observational study where I change nothing, so I don't see the point of any statistical tests but they want them included regardless.
Perhaps best to clear up a misapprehension before you start. The fact that this is an observational study is irrelevant to whether or not you need to do a statistical analysis; what determines the need for statistics is if you are trying to make some sort of inference, or generalization from a small study to a wider population. Here it sounds as if you are studying a small sample of cats in order to infer a safe isolation time for cats so treated in general. Is that so?

My aim is:

The aim of this study is to document the radioactivity of cats post-radioiodine treatment for 2 weeks in the cattery to evaluate the length of time that is required to isolate them in line with UK radiation laws.
To answer your question about the sort of statistical analysis that you need to do we need do know something about how such radiation laws are framed. Do you need to provide a cast-iron guarantee that a cat will be emitting radiation below a certain level after a certain time?

As you're taking repeated measurements of radiation levels over a period of time, and radiation levels tend to decay exponentially, the natural thing to do would be to fit a linear regression of the logarithm of radiation level versus time. This will enable you to provide a probabilistic statement (such as 99% of all cats will be below the legislated levels at 9 days after treatment). If it happens that they don't tend to drop below the required levels during the period you're observing them, then you can extrapolate from your model to predict when they will; and then use that information to design a longer term study.

And my objectives are:

  • 1) To document background radiation using dosimeters of the cats’ post radioiodine treatment to determine the cumulative radiation over a two-week period.
  • 2) To document the decline of the cats’ radioactivity over a two-week period post radioiodine treatment.
  • 3) To document the decline of the radioactivity of the cat’s excreta over a two-week period post radioiodine treatment.

The I-131 doses will be noted BUT thats not something I'm changing, that is decided by the vet along the normal protocol.

Plan is to measure the cats' radiation (thyroid and excreta) Every 3 days during their 14 day stay after treatment. I also plan to measure their cumulative radiation by putting a dosimeter on the front of their kennel and then finding out what it is on the 14th day.

So my question is, what statistical tests can I run so I keep my lecturers happy?
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