by Peter Serina, Ian Riley, Andrea Stewart et al.
BMC Medicine 2015 13:302 (16 December 2015)
Verbal autopsy (VA) is recognized as the only feasible alternative to comprehensive medical certification of deaths in settings with no or unreliable vital registration systems. However, a barrier to its use by national registration systems has been the amount of time and cost needed for data collection. Therefore, a short VA instrument (VAI) is needed. The authors developed a shortened VAI using a systematic approach, and assessed its performance when administered using hand-held electronic tablets and analyzed using Tariff 2.0. The length of a VA questionnaire was shortened by almost 50 % without a significant drop in performance. The shortened VAI developed reduces the burden of time and resources required for data collection and analysis of cause of death data in civil registration systems.