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Using death certificate data to study place of death in 9 European countries: opportunities and weaknesses

Using death certificate data to study place of death in 9 European countries: opportunities and weaknesses
Using death certificate data to study place of death in 9 European countries: opportunities and weaknesses
Background: Systematic and reliable epidemiological information at population level, preferably cross-national, is needed for an adequate planning of (end-of-life) health care policies, e.g. concerning place of death, but is currently lacking. This study illustrates opportunities and weaknesses of death certificate data to provide such information on place of death and associated factors in nine European countries (seven entire countries and five regions).
Methods: We investigated the possibility and modality of all partners in this international comparative study (BE, DK, IT, NL, NO, SE, UK) to negotiate a dataset containing all deaths of one year with their national/regional administration of mortality statistics, and analysed the availability of information about place of death as well as a number of clinical, socio-demographic, residential and healthcare system factors.
Results: All countries negotiated a dataset, but rules, procedures, and cost price to get the data varied strongly between countries. In total, about 1.1 million deaths were included. For four of the nine countries not all desired categories for place of death were available. Most desired clinical and socio-demographic information was available, be it sometimes via linkages with other population databases. Healthcare system factors could be made available by linking existing healthcare statistics to the residence of the deceased.
Conclusion: Death certificate data provide information on place of death and on possibly associated factors and confounders in all studied countries. Hence, death certificate data provide a unique opportunity for cross-national studying and monitoring of place of death. However, modifications of certain aspects of death certificate registration and rules of data-protection are perhaps required to make international monitoring of place of death more feasible and accurate.
death certificate, public health policy, healthcare
1471-2458
1-9
Cohen, Joachim
b58f24af-3c90-432a-b447-b43df71044de
Bilsen, Johan
2579cde2-1f51-4d64-9680-4ed11069eeb2
Miccinesi, Guido
388c0e91-8063-47f2-8392-5fbf87716ca0
Löfmark, Rurik
7c24f20e-0c30-4bf8-a413-15900c48fdd6
Addington-Hall, Julia
87560cc4-7562-4f9b-b908-81f3b603fdd8
Kaasa, Stein
b114305b-4b07-4bdd-a651-b83c609da72c
Norup, Michael
bf2f6383-b945-4650-8f01-a422abf76684
van der Wal, Gerrit
021221ea-f305-4d97-8051-d238e2eef441
Deliens, Luc
94dcbddb-c7bc-4a77-a11d-0e8a0b278d62
Cohen, Joachim
b58f24af-3c90-432a-b447-b43df71044de
Bilsen, Johan
2579cde2-1f51-4d64-9680-4ed11069eeb2
Miccinesi, Guido
388c0e91-8063-47f2-8392-5fbf87716ca0
Löfmark, Rurik
7c24f20e-0c30-4bf8-a413-15900c48fdd6
Addington-Hall, Julia
87560cc4-7562-4f9b-b908-81f3b603fdd8
Kaasa, Stein
b114305b-4b07-4bdd-a651-b83c609da72c
Norup, Michael
bf2f6383-b945-4650-8f01-a422abf76684
van der Wal, Gerrit
021221ea-f305-4d97-8051-d238e2eef441
Deliens, Luc
94dcbddb-c7bc-4a77-a11d-0e8a0b278d62

Cohen, Joachim, Bilsen, Johan, Miccinesi, Guido, Löfmark, Rurik, Addington-Hall, Julia, Kaasa, Stein, Norup, Michael, van der Wal, Gerrit and Deliens, Luc (2007) Using death certificate data to study place of death in 9 European countries: opportunities and weaknesses. BMC Public Health, 7 (283), 1-9. (doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-283).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Systematic and reliable epidemiological information at population level, preferably cross-national, is needed for an adequate planning of (end-of-life) health care policies, e.g. concerning place of death, but is currently lacking. This study illustrates opportunities and weaknesses of death certificate data to provide such information on place of death and associated factors in nine European countries (seven entire countries and five regions).
Methods: We investigated the possibility and modality of all partners in this international comparative study (BE, DK, IT, NL, NO, SE, UK) to negotiate a dataset containing all deaths of one year with their national/regional administration of mortality statistics, and analysed the availability of information about place of death as well as a number of clinical, socio-demographic, residential and healthcare system factors.
Results: All countries negotiated a dataset, but rules, procedures, and cost price to get the data varied strongly between countries. In total, about 1.1 million deaths were included. For four of the nine countries not all desired categories for place of death were available. Most desired clinical and socio-demographic information was available, be it sometimes via linkages with other population databases. Healthcare system factors could be made available by linking existing healthcare statistics to the residence of the deceased.
Conclusion: Death certificate data provide information on place of death and on possibly associated factors and confounders in all studied countries. Hence, death certificate data provide a unique opportunity for cross-national studying and monitoring of place of death. However, modifications of certain aspects of death certificate registration and rules of data-protection are perhaps required to make international monitoring of place of death more feasible and accurate.

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Published date: 8 October 2007
Keywords: death certificate, public health policy, healthcare

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 50530
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/50530
ISSN: 1471-2458
PURE UUID: 0c4a1347-8a74-453d-b346-7c698ab34859

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Date deposited: 26 Feb 2008
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 18:46

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