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Deaths due to suicide: the effects of certification and coding practices in Australia

Walker, Sue M., Madden, Richard, & Chen, Linping (2008) Deaths due to suicide: the effects of certification and coding practices in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 32, pp. 126-130.

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Abstract

Objective: To highlight issues relating to suicide coding which impact on the final reported mortality data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Method: This paper presents an outline of the way in which the official Australian suicide data is captured and coded and highlights issues relating to the classification used, coronial processes, documentation requirements and data sources which impact on the final reported data, especially deaths associated with coronial investigations.
Results: Issues related to the coding of Australian suicide data are:

• Disparity between jurisdictions due to differences in documentation about accidental or undetermined causes of death, • Lack of standardisation in the way that coronial deaths are reported across Australia, • Lack of standard form for police reports, • Administrative processes which cause delays in reporting the results of coronial investigations, • Reluctance on the part of some coroners to report deaths as suicides. Conclusions: Researchers and policy makers need to be aware of the constraints under which suicide can be reported as such in the official data before interpreting time trends.

Impact and interest:

17 citations in Scopus
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14 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 13602
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: Mortality, suicide, International Classification of Diseases, ICD, 10, death certificates, cause of death
DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2008.00187.x
ISSN: 1326-0200
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance) (111711)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Research Centres > National Centre for Health Information Research & Training
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Blackwell Publishing
Deposited On: 22 May 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:47

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