Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Probabilistic modeling of verbal autopsy data is best for public health decision making, study finds

Date:
August 17, 2010
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Computer-based probabilistic models that are used to interpret verbal autopsy data -- information from interviews with family, friends and carers about deaths that are later interpreted into possible cause(s) of death -- are as effective as physician reviews of the data for establishing cause of death, according to new research.

Computer-based probabilistic models that are used to interpret verbal autopsy data- information from interviews with family, friends and carers about deaths that are later interpreted into possible cause(s) of death- are as effective as physician reviews of the data for establishing cause of death, according to research by Peter Byass from Umeε University, Sweden, and colleagues from Witwatersrand University, South Africa, that is published in PLoS Medicine.

Probabilistic modeling is cheaper and faster than physician review and also completely internally consistent. Therefore, in many circumstances, probabilistic modeling is the best available means of incorporating data on deaths into public health actions.

The authors compared and contrasted physician reviews and probabilistic modeling as applied to verbal autopsies from a series of 6,153 deaths that occurred in a rural South African population from 1992 to 2005. The ten highest-ranking causes of mortality accounted for 83% and 88% of all deaths by physician interpretation and probabilistic modeling respectively, and eight of the highest ten causes were common to both approaches. Therefore, the authors say that there were no differences between physician interpretation and probabilistic modeling that might have led to substantially different public health policy conclusions at the population level. Physician interpretation was more nuanced than the model, for example in identifying cancers at particular sites, but the model was able to capture the uncertainty associated with individual cases.

The authors explain that the main aim of this paper is not to provide a validation of any particular verbal autopsy method, but to consider alternative approaches for handling interview data on individual deaths to give meaningful pictures of population health They conclude: "where [verbal autopsy] is used within routine health services, probabilistic modeling with its consistent approach over time and place, the elimination of inter- and intra-assessor variation, faster results, and much lower cost, should be the interpretative method of choice."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Byass P, Kahn K, Fottrell E, Collinson MA, Tollman SM. Moving from Data on Deaths to Public Health Policy in Agincourt, South Africa: Approaches to Analysing and Understanding Verbal Autopsy Findings. PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7 (8): e1000325 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000325

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Probabilistic modeling of verbal autopsy data is best for public health decision making, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817171553.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2010, August 17). Probabilistic modeling of verbal autopsy data is best for public health decision making, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817171553.htm
Public Library of Science. "Probabilistic modeling of verbal autopsy data is best for public health decision making, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817171553.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) — A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins