Volume 38 - Article 32 | Pages 879–896  

Estimating mortality from external causes using data from retrospective surveys: A validation study in Niakhar (Senegal)

By Gilles Pison, Bruno Masquelier, Almamy Malick Kante, Cheikh Tidiane Ndiaye, Laetitia Douillot, Géraldine Duthé, Cheikh Sokhna, Valerie Delaunay, Stephane Helleringer

Abstract

Background: In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), data on causes of death is often inaccurate or incomplete. In this paper, we test whether adding a few questions about injuries and accidents to mortality questionnaires used in representative household surveys would yield accurate estimates of the extent of mortality due to external causes (accidents, homicides, or suicides).

Methods: We conduct a validation study in Niakhar (Senegal), during which we compare reported survey data to high-quality prospective records of deaths collected by a health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS).

Results: Survey respondents more frequently list the deaths of their adult siblings who die of external causes than the deaths of those who die from other causes. The specificity of survey data is high, but sensitivity is low. Among reported deaths, less than 60% of the deaths classified as due to external causes by the HDSS are also classified as such by survey respondents. Survey respondents better report deaths due to road-traffic accidents than deaths from suicides and homicides.

Conclusions: Asking questions about deaths resulting from injuries and accidents during surveys might help measure mortality from external causes in LMICs, but the resulting data displays systematic bias in a rural population of Senegal. Future studies should 1) investigate whether similar biases also apply in other settings and 2) test new methods to further improve the accuracy of survey data on mortality from external causes.

Contribution: This study helps strengthen the monitoring of sustainable development targets in LMICs by validating a simple approach for the measurement of mortality from external causes.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Improving age measurement in low- and middle-income countries through computer vision: A test in Senegal
Volume 40 - Article 9

Estimating mortality from census data: A record-linkage study of the Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance System in Burkina Faso
Volume 46 - Article 22

Adult mortality in a rural area of Senegal: Non-communicable diseases have a large impact in Mlomp
Volume 19 - Article 37

The Human Multiple Births Database (HMBD): An international database on twin and other multiple births
Volume 48 - Article 4

Knowledge, risk perceptions, and behaviors related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi
Volume 44 - Article 20

Adult mortality patterns in the former Soviet Union’s southern tier: Armenia and Georgia in comparative perspective
Volume 36 - Article 19

Mortality in the Caucasus: An attempt to re-estimate recent mortality trends in Armenia and Georgia
Volume 22 - Article 23

The Likoma Network Study: Context, data collection and initial results
Volume 21 - Article 15

Population observatories as sources of information on mortality in developing countries
Volume 13 - Article 13

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Measuring short-term mobility patterns in North America using Facebook advertising data, with an application to adjusting COVID-19 mortality rates
Volume 50 - Article 10    | Keywords: COVID-19, data collection, Facebook, mortality, North America, short-term mobility

Immigrant mortality advantage in the United States during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic
Volume 50 - Article 7    | Keywords: COVID-19, immigrants, mortality

The quality of fertility data in the web-based Generations and Gender Survey
Volume 49 - Article 3    | Keywords: accuracy, data quality, fertility, Generations and Gender Survey (GGS)

Frailty at death: An examination of multiple causes of death in four low mortality countries in 2017
Volume 49 - Article 2    | Keywords: aging, causes of mortality, mortality, multiple causes of death

Ethnic and regional inequalities in Russian military fatalities in Ukraine: Preliminary findings from crowdsourced data
Volume 48 - Article 31    | Keywords: armed conflict, fatality, military, mortality, Russia, Ukraine, war