Using verbal autopsy to measure causes of death: the comparative performance of existing methods

Christopher JL Murray, Rafael Lozano, Abraham D Flaxman et al.
BMC Medicine 2014, 12:5 (9 January 2014)

19 pp. 3.4 MB:

Monitoring progress with disease and injury reduction in many populations will require widespread use of verbal autopsy (VA). Multiple methods have been developed for assigning cause of death from a VA but their application is restricted by uncertainty about their reliability. The authors investigated the validity of five automated VA methods for assigning cause of death in addition to physician review of VA forms. they conclude that physician review of VA questionnaires is less accurate than automated methods in determining both individual and population causes of death. Overall, ‘Tariff’ method performs as well or better than other methods and should be widely applied in routine mortality surveillance systems with poor cause of death certification practices.

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