Quality of cause-of-death reporting using ICD-10 drowning codes: A descriptive study of 69 countries

Tsung Hsueh Lu, Philippe Lunetta, Sue Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. The systematic collection of high-quality mortality data is a prerequisite in designing relevant drowning prevention programmes. This descriptive study aimed to assess the quality (i.e., level of specificity) of cause-of-death reporting using ICD-10 drowning codes across 69 countries. Methods. World Health Organization (WHO) mortality data were extracted for analysis. The proportion of unintentional drowning deaths coded as unspecified at the 3-character level (ICD-10 code W74) and for which the place of occurrence was unspecified at the 4th character (.9) were calculated for each country as indicators of the quality of cause-of-death reporting. Results. In 32 of the 69 countries studied, the percentage of cases of unintentional drowning coded as unspecified at the 3-character level exceeded 50%, and in 19 countries, this percentage exceeded 80%; in contrast, the percentage was lower than 10% in only 10 countries. In 21 of the 56 countries that report 4-character codes, the percentage of unintentional drowning deaths for which the place of occurrence was unspecified at the 4th character exceeded 50%, and in 15 countries, exceeded 90%; in only 14 countries was this percentage lower than 10%. Conclusion. Despite the introduction of more specific subcategories for drowning in the ICD-10, many countries were found to be failing to report sufficiently specific codes in drowning mortality data submitted to the WHO.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics

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