Revising the WHO verbal autopsy instrument to facilitate routine cause-of-death monitoring

Leitao, Jordana and Chandramohan, Daniel and Byass, Peter and Jakob, Robert and Bundhamcharoen, Kanitta and Choprapawon, Chanpen and de Savigny, Don and Fottrell, Edward and França, Elizabeth and Froen, Frederik and Gewaifel, Gihan and Hodgson, Abraham and Hounton, Sennen and Kahn, Kathleen and Krishnan, Anand and Kumar, Vishwajeet and Masanja, Honorati and Nichols, Erin and Notzon, Francis and Rasooly, Mohammad Hafiz and Sankoh, Osman and Spiegel, Paul and Abouzahr, Carla and Amexo, Marc and Kebede, Derege and Alley, William Soumbey and Marinho, Fatima and Ali, Mohamed and Loyola, Enrique and Chikersal, Jyotsna and Gao, Jun and Annunziata, Giuseppe and Bahl, Rajiv and Bartolomeus, Kidist and Boerma, Ties and Ustun, Bedirhan and Chou, Doris and Muhe, Lulu and Mathai, Matthews. (2013) Revising the WHO verbal autopsy instrument to facilitate routine cause-of-death monitoring. Global health action, Vol. 6 , 21518.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6174423

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Objective : Verbal autopsy (VA) is a systematic approach for determining causes of death (CoD) in populations without routine medical certification. It has mainly been used in research contexts and involved relatively lengthy interviews. Our objective here is to describe the process used to shorten, simplify, and standardise the VA process to make it feasible for application on a larger scale such as in routine civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems. Methods : A literature review of existing VA instruments was undertaken. The World Health Organization (WHO) then facilitated an international consultation process to review experiences with existing VA instruments, including those from WHO, the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health in Developing Countries (INDEPTH) Network, InterVA, and the Population Health Metrics Research Consortium (PHMRC). In an expert meeting, consideration was given to formulating a workable VA CoD list [with mapping to the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) CoD] and to the viability and utility of existing VA interview questions, with a view to undertaking systematic simplification. Findings : A revised VA CoD list was compiled enabling mapping of all ICD-10 CoD onto 62 VA cause categories, chosen on the grounds of public health significance as well as potential for ascertainment from VA. A set of 221 indicators for inclusion in the revised VA instrument was developed on the basis of accumulated experience, with appropriate skip patterns for various population sub-groups. The duration of a VA interview was reduced by about 40% with this new approach. Conclusions : The revised VA instrument resulting from this consultation process is presented here as a means of making it available for widespread use and evaluation. It is envisaged that this will be used in conjunction with automated models for assigning CoD from VA data, rather than involving physicians.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Former Units within Swiss TPH > Health Systems and Policies (de Savigny)
UniBasel Contributors:de Savigny, Donald
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Co-Action Publishing]
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:23 May 2014 08:34
Deposited On:23 May 2014 08:34

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