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Effect of recall on estimation of non-fatal injury rates: a community based study in Tanzania

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Philip Setel


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Study objective: To investigate the effect of recall on estimation of non-fatal injury rates in Tanzania. Design: Retrospective population based survey. Setting: Eight branches in an urban area and six villages in a relatively prosperous rural area in Tanzania. Subjects: Individuals of all ages living in households selected by cluster sampling. Main outcome measures: Estimated non-fatal injury rates calculated at each of the 12 recall periods ( one to 12 months before the interview). Results: Out of a population of 15 223 persons, 509 individuals reported 516 injuries during the preceding year. Of these 313 (61.5%) were males and 196 (38.5%) females. The data showed notable declining incidence rates from 72 per 1000 person-years when based on a one month recall period to 32.7 per 1000 person-years for a 12 month recall period (55% decline). The decline was found for injuries resulting in fewer than 30 days of disability whereas rates for severe injuries (disability of 30 days or more) did not show a consistent variation with recall period. Decline in injury rates by recall period was higher in rural than in urban areas. Age, sex, and education did not notably affect recall. Conclusions: Longer recall periods underestimate injury rates compared with shorter recall periods. For severe injuries, a recall period of up to 12 months does not affect the rate estimates. It is essential that a recall period of less than three months be used to calculate injury rates for less severe injuries.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moshiro C, Heuch I, Astrom AN, Setel P, Kvale G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Injury Prevention

Year: 2005

Volume: 11

Issue: 1

Pages: 48-52

ISSN (print): 1353-8047

ISSN (electronic): 1475-5785

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/ip.2004.005645


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