Validity of verbal autopsy procedures for determining cause of death in Tanzania
OBJECTIVES: To validate verbal autopsy (VA) procedures for use in sample vital registration. Verbal autopsy is an important method for deriving cause-specific mortality estimates where disease burdens are greatest and routine cause-specific mortality data do not exist.
METHODS: Verbal autopsies and medical records (MR) were collected for 3123 deaths in the perinatal/neonatal period, post-neonatal
RESULTS: Verbal autopsy produced accurate CSMFs for nine causes in different age groups: birth asphyxia; intrauterine complications; pneumonia; HIV/AIDS; malaria (adults); tuberculosis; cerebrovascular diseases; injuries and direct maternal causes. Results for 20 other causes approached the threshold for good performance.
CONCLUSIONS: Verbal autopsy reliably estimated CSMFs for diseases of public health importance in all age groups. Further validation is needed to assess reasons for lack of positive results for some conditions.
Tropical Medicine & International Health (2006) 11 (5) 681-696 [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2006.01603.x]