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Table 1 Mean, ranges and number of reviewed studies for sensitivity and specificity estimates of physician-certified verbal autopsy for selected causes of death, among hospital-based deaths

From: Comparison of physician-certified verbal autopsy with computer-coded verbal autopsy for cause of death assignment in hospitalized patients in low- and middle-income countries: systematic review

  Sensitivity Specificity
  Mean (%) Range Number of studies Mean (%) Range Number of studies
Infections and parasitic diseases and maternal deaths
Tuberculosis 39 18 to 62 3 97 93 to 99 2
HIV/AIDS 59a 0 to 61 3 90a 0 to 96 3
Diarrheal diseasesb 38a 0 to 75 2 96 94 to 99 2
Malariab 60a 0 to 67 2 89a 0 to 100 2
Pneumonia 42 18 to 75 4 93 84 to 99 3
Maternal deaths 63 - 1 100 - 1
Neonatal conditions     
Prematurity or low birth weight 48 - 1 95 - 1
Birth asphyxia or birth trauma 43 - 1 90 - 1
Neonatal infections 31 11 to 50 2 100 99 to 100 2
Noncommunicable diseases
Nutritional conditions 33a 0 to 58 2 94 87 to 99 2
Digestive cancers 82a 56 to 96 3 100 99 to 100 2
Respiratory cancers 84 80 to 89 2 99 - 1
Other cancers 61a 27 to 95 5 99 98 to 99 2
Heart disease 39 16 to 64 3 98 98 to 99 2
Stroke 71 63 to 82 3 95 94 to 97 2
Chronic respiratory diseases 61 60 to 62 2 98 - 1
Cirrhosis of the liver 58 45 to 71 2 98 - 1
Other digestive diseases 36 21 to 52 2 99 - 1
Renal or endocrine diseases 32 13 to 54 3 99 99 to 99.4 2
Injuries
Road traffic accidents 97 97 to 98 2 100 - 1
Other injuries 57 35.3 to 74 3 100 99 to 100 2
  1. aMedian was used instead of means due to outlier values in the ranges of estimates. However, the medians and means yielded similar results (that is, the pooled studies gave PCVA a sensitivity mean of 80.1% and a median of 81.9% for ascertaining digestive cancers). bAlthough two studies were used to generate results for these CODs, the studies provided results for several population sub-samples.