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Br J Gen Pract. 2005 Sep;55(518):677-83.

Death certification and doctors' dilemmas: a qualitative study of GPs' perspectives.

Author information

  • 1St Joseph's Mercy Hospice, Auckland, New Zealand. carolm@mercy.co.nz

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Death certificate inaccuracies have implications for funding and planning public health services, health research and family settlements. Improved training has been identified as a way of reducing inaccuracies. Understanding the influences on certifying doctors should inform that training.

AIM:

To explore what factors influence GPs as they complete death certificates.

DESIGN:

Focus groups held by teleconference with 16 GPs.

SETTING:

New Zealand general practice.

METHOD:

Four teleconferenced focus groups were taped and transcribed. Transcripts were examined for emerging themes. Credibility, transferability and confirmability were underwritten by a clear audit trail.

RESULTS:

Participants identified two factors that influenced death certification: clinical uncertainty and the family. Other themes provided an understanding of the personal and professional concerns for GPs.

CONCLUSION:

Improving death certification accuracy is a complex issue and needs to take into consideration factors that influence certifiers.

Comment in

  • Death certification. [Br J Gen Pract. 2007]
PMID:
16176734
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1464060
Free PMC Article
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