I have very little background in statistics (mainly intro courses and some basic statistics for life sciences courses) and am working with a project right now where we have implemented a program in a health organization and are looking at hospitalizations prior- and post-implementation of this initiative. We hope to examine the effect it has had on reducing hospitalizations over the past couple of years, and am looking for some advice. I wanted to consult people who were more knowledgeable in this area before I move forward with our analysis and want to make sure I am using the appropriate statistical tests for our purposes.
From what I understand: this is a pre-test, post-test study design and since there are paired observations before and after for the totality of patients enrolled on this program, would I be correct in assuming that I could use a paired sample t-test or would an ANOVA be a better analysis of this data? The confusion I have is that from what I remember in my undergrad, you couldn’t use paired t-tests for discrete variables as that was one of the assumptions that must be met. Would this group also in this case function as their own control?
Thank you in advance for your help!