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Table 2 Strength domains and reported impacts

From: The utility of medico-legal databases for public health research: a systematic review of peer-reviewed publications using the National Coronial Information System

Domain – Information was … Number of publications (proportions)a Justifications Reported impacts
COMPREHENSIVE
Comprehensive coverage 16 (43%) Captures all reportable deaths across Australia and New Zealand
Wide breadth of information in closed cases
Monitor mortality trends at population-level
Inform injury prevention programs and priorities
Assess effectiveness of interventions
DETAILED
Detailed data source 13 (35%) Richness of information in closed cases
Greater level of detail than existing databases (e.g. Australian Bureau of Statistics)
Detailed examination of causes and circumstances of death
RELIABLE
Data consistency 11 (29%) Quality assessment by trained staff at the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) and internal quality control
Consistent with other datasets and national statistics
More reliable than national statistics wherein data are finalised before coroner’s investigation is closed
Accurate estimate of mortality
Rigorous coding framework Rigorous and consistent coding scheme
APPLICABLE
Utility for death investigation Utility for public health and safety and injury prevention 9 (24%) Hazard identification tool
Coroner’s inquest yields constructive recommendations
Potential for reduction in preventable deaths
Valuable surveillance tool
OF HIGH QUALITY
Good quality data 6 (16%) Valid information
Quality assessment by trained staff at NCIS and internal quality control
Contribute to validity of study findings
CURRENT
Most current data source available 4 (10%) Contemporary information
Timely access
Not specified
  1. aProportions add up to over 100% as studies may report multiple categories of strengths