Document Detail

Reasons for not reporting deaths: a qualitative study in rural Vietnam.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18270497     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This qualitative study explores socio-cultural and health systems factors that may impact on death reporting by lay people to registry systems at the commune level. Information on local perceptions of death and factors influencing death reporting were gathered through nine focus group discussions with people of different religions and ethnic affiliations in a rural district of northern Vietnam. Participants classified deaths as "elderly deaths," "young deaths," and "child deaths." Child deaths, including newborn deaths, used to be considered punishment for sins committed by ancestors, but this is no longer the case. Concepts of the human soul and afterlife differ between the Catholic and Buddhist groups, influencing funeral rituals and reporting, especially of infant deaths. Participants regarded elderly deaths as "natural" and "deserved," while young deaths were seen as either "good deaths" or "bad deaths." "Bad deaths" were defined as deaths of "dishonourable" persons who had led a "bad life" involving activities such as gambling, drinking or stealing. The causes of "bad deaths" and deaths due to stigmatized diseases (e.g., HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and leprosy) were often concealed by the family. The study suggests that the risk of under-reporting deaths seems to be largest for deaths of infants and "bad deaths." Little awareness of regulations and lack of incentives for reporting or lack of sanctions for not reporting deaths also result in under-reporting of deaths. Therefore, education programs and enforcement of legal regulations on death notification should be emphasized. The risk of misreporting the real causes of "bad deaths" and deaths due to stigmatized diseases should be considered in verbal autopsy interviews. Using different sources of information (triangulation) is useful in order to minimize both under-registration and misreporting causes of death.
Tran Quang Huy; Annika Johansson; Nguyen Hoang Long
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  World health & population     Volume:  9     ISSN:  1718-3340     ISO Abbreviation:  World Health Popul     Publication Date:  2007 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-02-14     Completed Date:  2008-03-05     Revised Date:  2010-01-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101307691     Medline TA:  World Health Popul     Country:  Canada    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  14-23     Citation Subset:  IM    
Huy, Vietnam-Sweden Uong Bi General Hospital, Uong Bi, Vietnam.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Attitude to Death / ethnology*
Cultural Characteristics*
Death Certificates*
Focus Groups
Funeral Rites
Vietnam / epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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