4.7 Optional: Interpreting histograms

(Answers are available in Sect. A.4)

To assess various lung diseases, many methods are available (including using a spirometer and the 6-minute walk test).

The fatigue assessment scale (FAS) is one way to measure the fatigue of the patient. (A high FAS means more fatigue (Michielsen, De Vries, and Van Heck 2003).)

The histogram in Fig. 4.5 comes from a study (Baughman, Sparkman, and Lower 2007) examining \(n=142\) sarcoidosis patients using the FAS.

  1. Critique this histogram. Identify ways to improve the histogram.
  2. Describe this histogram in words: what does it tell you?
  3. Draw a rough boxplot that corresponds approximately to the histogram, explaining your reasoning.
The histogram of FAS scores for patients

FIGURE 4.5: The histogram of FAS scores for patients


Baughman, Robert P., Brian K. Sparkman, and Elyse E. Lower. 2007. “Six-Minute Walk Test and Health Status Assessment in Sarcoidosis.” Chest 132 (1): 207–13.

Michielsen, Helen J., Jolanda De Vries, and Guus L. Van Heck. 2003. “Psychometric Qualities of a Brief Self-Rated Fatigue Measure The Fatigue Assessment Scale.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 54: 345–52.