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Table 3 Limitation domains, remediation 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 not … Number of publications (proportions)a Reported impact on findings Actions taken
AVAILABLE
Open cases 23 (34%) Under-reporting of potentially relevant cases Exclusion of all open cases
Exclusion of recent deaths
Inability to verify information Used additional data source
Whole documents/information of interest 26 (39%) Unable to conduct detailed analysis Access paper-based record
Adjust analysis
Cases not categorised
Under-reporting of potentially relevant cases Exclusion of cases
Small dataset 2 (3%) Unable to detect trends and evaluate impacts of interventions Acknowledged limitation
COMPLETE
Missing data on available info of interest 16 (24%) Missing/incomplete data for analysis
Limitation of level of analysis
Access paper-based record
Cases not categorised
Variables excluded from analyses
Used additional data source
Acknowledged uncertainty (absence of data does not mean factor not associated)
ACCURATE
Potential for human error 5 (7%) Errors in information recording during inquest (e.g. spelling of drug names) Not specified
Potential for human error in coding 7 (10%) Missing data for some variables
Misclassification of variables
Affects accuracy of NCIS
Access paper-based record
Used additional data source
Careful interpretation of reports
Misclassification of intent re: intentional self-harm 5 (7%) Under-reporting of potentially relevant cases Used additional data source
Discrepancies between the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) and ICD-10 3 (4%) Under-reporting of potentially relevant cases Used additional data source (ICD-10)
  1. aProportions add up to over 100% as studies may report multiple categories of limitations