Survival Analysis Using SAS A Practical Guide Reviews

Survival Analysis Using SAS®: A Practical Guide, Second Edition, is a prime but by no means the only example of Paul Allison's skill as a writer and teacher. Allison has a perhaps unparalleled ability to write about highly complex topics in a way that is accessible to relatively inexperienced people at the same time that he provides fresh insights and explanations to practitioners who may have thought they knew all there was to know. His writing reflects not only his deep knowledge of statistical methods but also his substantive engagement with them as a first-rate sociologist. Allison writes with the focus and confidence of someone who knows what he is doing and why he is doing it. His discussion of the basics of survival analysis is as clear as one can make it, but he does not gloss over the underlying mathematics, providing extraordinarily clear and detailed discussions of maximum and partial likelihood, Bayesian estimation methods, and other topics that are essential to a thorough understanding of the methods. The examples, all of them based on real data, are instructive and thoroughly explained. An important aspect of the examples is that preliminary SAS code needed to arrange the data for analysis is carefully discussed, thus making the book more accessible to those who are new to SAS. For SAS users, I can think of no better place to start one's education regarding survival models, and I would urge anyone who already uses them to give this book a careful read.

Richard T. Campbell
Professor of Biostatistics and Sociology
University of Illinois at Chicago


A complete novice to this subject, I learned survival analysis on the fly from a client who had the utmost confidence in my ability. I practiced due diligence by obsessively double-checking my code and methods against a hodge-podge of references. However, published information was so lacking in substance, consistency, and applicability that I asked her how to set up the censoring variable and produced what is obviously in hindsight an alarming number of staged 2xn frequency tables for quality assurance purposes. With Survival Analysis Using SAS: A Practical Guide, Second Edition, at my disposal, I can make better use of client time-and my energy-by knowing the questions to ask when constructing analyses...and to avoid ones that shouldn't ever need to be asked.

Christine Leonard Westgate 
Contract Programmer-Analyst
New Hampshire

Statistical analysts as well as readers with little statistical knowledge can benefit from the book's content. Explanations are clear and concise, providing enough information to give the reader an understanding of survival analysis. Throughout the book, concepts are supported with theory, statistical formulas, and examples. Examples shown are from a variety of fields, allowing readers to transfer methods to their field of study. The book was enjoyable to read. I highly recommend Survival Analysis Using SAS®: A Practical Guide, Second Edition.

Diana Suhr, PhD
Statistical Analyst
Office of Budgets and Institutional Analysis
University of Northern Colorado


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