Improper cause-of-death statements by specialty of certifying physician: A cross-sectional study in two medical centres in Taiwan

Tain Junn Cheng, Fang Chuan Lee, Shio Jean Lin, Tsung Hsueh Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To determine the frequency of various types of improper cause-of-death (COD) statements reported on death certificates and whether the frequency differed by specialty of the certifying physician. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Setting: 2 medical centres in Tainan, Taiwan. Participants: A total of 2520 death certificates issued by 230 physicians. Main outcome measures: 4 types of improper COD statements based on the criteria of correctness of the COD causal sequence and the level of specificity of underlying COD selected. Results: Of 2520 death certificates analysed, 502 (19.9%) had at least one type of improper COD statement. However, only 235 (9.3%) sustained major errors, that is, 91 (3.6%) reported incorrect causal sequence and 144 (5.7%) reported only mechanism(s) of death (such as respiratory failure, heart failure, sepsis and acidosis). The improper reporting rate was highest among nephrologists (53%, 24/45), followed by infectious diseases physicians (45%, 29/65) and was lowest among oncologists (6%, 57/995). Conclusions: About one-fifth issued death certificates sustained improper COD statements and only one-tenth had noteworthy errors that would threaten the quality of COD statistics. The frequency varied by specialty of the certifying physician because physicians in different specialties manage different types of diseases and conditions with contrasting complexities in terms of determining the causal sequence and specificity of COD statements.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001229
JournalBMJ open
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 23

Fingerprint

Taiwan
Cause of Death
Cross-Sectional Studies
Physicians
Death Certificates
Acidosis
Respiratory Insufficiency
Communicable Diseases
Sepsis
Heart Failure
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

@article{25ab616a079d4015af6e45e449cc296e,
title = "Improper cause-of-death statements by specialty of certifying physician: A cross-sectional study in two medical centres in Taiwan",
abstract = "Objective: To determine the frequency of various types of improper cause-of-death (COD) statements reported on death certificates and whether the frequency differed by specialty of the certifying physician. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Setting: 2 medical centres in Tainan, Taiwan. Participants: A total of 2520 death certificates issued by 230 physicians. Main outcome measures: 4 types of improper COD statements based on the criteria of correctness of the COD causal sequence and the level of specificity of underlying COD selected. Results: Of 2520 death certificates analysed, 502 (19.9{\%}) had at least one type of improper COD statement. However, only 235 (9.3{\%}) sustained major errors, that is, 91 (3.6{\%}) reported incorrect causal sequence and 144 (5.7{\%}) reported only mechanism(s) of death (such as respiratory failure, heart failure, sepsis and acidosis). The improper reporting rate was highest among nephrologists (53{\%}, 24/45), followed by infectious diseases physicians (45{\%}, 29/65) and was lowest among oncologists (6{\%}, 57/995). Conclusions: About one-fifth issued death certificates sustained improper COD statements and only one-tenth had noteworthy errors that would threaten the quality of COD statistics. The frequency varied by specialty of the certifying physician because physicians in different specialties manage different types of diseases and conditions with contrasting complexities in terms of determining the causal sequence and specificity of COD statements.",
author = "Cheng, {Tain Junn} and Lee, {Fang Chuan} and Lin, {Shio Jean} and Lu, {Tsung Hsueh}",
year = "2012",
month = "8",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001229",
language = "English",
volume = "2",
journal = "BMJ Open",
issn = "2044-6055",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "4",

}

Improper cause-of-death statements by specialty of certifying physician : A cross-sectional study in two medical centres in Taiwan. / Cheng, Tain Junn; Lee, Fang Chuan; Lin, Shio Jean; Lu, Tsung Hsueh.

In: BMJ open, Vol. 2, No. 4, e001229, 23.08.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Improper cause-of-death statements by specialty of certifying physician

T2 - A cross-sectional study in two medical centres in Taiwan

AU - Cheng, Tain Junn

AU - Lee, Fang Chuan

AU - Lin, Shio Jean

AU - Lu, Tsung Hsueh

PY - 2012/8/23

Y1 - 2012/8/23

N2 - Objective: To determine the frequency of various types of improper cause-of-death (COD) statements reported on death certificates and whether the frequency differed by specialty of the certifying physician. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Setting: 2 medical centres in Tainan, Taiwan. Participants: A total of 2520 death certificates issued by 230 physicians. Main outcome measures: 4 types of improper COD statements based on the criteria of correctness of the COD causal sequence and the level of specificity of underlying COD selected. Results: Of 2520 death certificates analysed, 502 (19.9%) had at least one type of improper COD statement. However, only 235 (9.3%) sustained major errors, that is, 91 (3.6%) reported incorrect causal sequence and 144 (5.7%) reported only mechanism(s) of death (such as respiratory failure, heart failure, sepsis and acidosis). The improper reporting rate was highest among nephrologists (53%, 24/45), followed by infectious diseases physicians (45%, 29/65) and was lowest among oncologists (6%, 57/995). Conclusions: About one-fifth issued death certificates sustained improper COD statements and only one-tenth had noteworthy errors that would threaten the quality of COD statistics. The frequency varied by specialty of the certifying physician because physicians in different specialties manage different types of diseases and conditions with contrasting complexities in terms of determining the causal sequence and specificity of COD statements.

AB - Objective: To determine the frequency of various types of improper cause-of-death (COD) statements reported on death certificates and whether the frequency differed by specialty of the certifying physician. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Setting: 2 medical centres in Tainan, Taiwan. Participants: A total of 2520 death certificates issued by 230 physicians. Main outcome measures: 4 types of improper COD statements based on the criteria of correctness of the COD causal sequence and the level of specificity of underlying COD selected. Results: Of 2520 death certificates analysed, 502 (19.9%) had at least one type of improper COD statement. However, only 235 (9.3%) sustained major errors, that is, 91 (3.6%) reported incorrect causal sequence and 144 (5.7%) reported only mechanism(s) of death (such as respiratory failure, heart failure, sepsis and acidosis). The improper reporting rate was highest among nephrologists (53%, 24/45), followed by infectious diseases physicians (45%, 29/65) and was lowest among oncologists (6%, 57/995). Conclusions: About one-fifth issued death certificates sustained improper COD statements and only one-tenth had noteworthy errors that would threaten the quality of COD statistics. The frequency varied by specialty of the certifying physician because physicians in different specialties manage different types of diseases and conditions with contrasting complexities in terms of determining the causal sequence and specificity of COD statements.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84865109622&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84865109622&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001229

DO - 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001229

M3 - Article

C2 - 22855626

AN - SCOPUS:84865109622

VL - 2

JO - BMJ Open

JF - BMJ Open

SN - 2044-6055

IS - 4

M1 - e001229

ER -