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Factors Influencing Acceptance of Post-Mortem Examination of Children at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Published Date:
    July 03 2019
  • Source:
    Ann Glob Health. 2019; 85(1)
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.10 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Ann Glob Health
  • Description:
    Background: Clinical autopsies are not often part of routine care, despite their role in clarifying cause of death. In fact, autopsy rates across the world have declined and are especially low in sub-Saharan Africa. Objectives: We set out to identify factors associated with acceptance of pediatric autopsies among parents of deceased children less than five years old, and examined local preferences for minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS) procedures during post-mortem (PM) examinations. Methods: From December 2016 to September 2017, we contacted 113 parents/next of kin who had been previously approached to consent to a PM examination of their deceased child as part of a Kenyan study on cause of death. Interviews occurred up to three years after the death of their child. Findings: Seventy-three percent (83/113) of eligible study participants were enrolled, of whom 62/83 (75%) had previously consented to PM examination of their child. Those who previously consented to PM had higher levels of education, were more likely employed, and had more knowledge about certain aspects of autopsies than non-consenters. The majority (97%) of PM consenters did so because they wanted to know the cause of death of their child, and up to a third believed autopsy studies helped advance medical knowledge. Reasons for non-consent to PM examination included: parents felt there was no need for further examination (29%) or they were satisfied with the clinical diagnosis (24%). Overall, only 40% of study participants would have preferred MITS procedures to conventional autopsy. However, 81% of autopsy non-consenters would have accepted PM examination if it only involved MITS techniques. Conclusion: There is potential to increase autopsy rates by strengthening reasons for acceptance and addressing modifiable reasons for refusals. Although MITS procedures have the potential to improve autopsy acceptance rates, they were not significantly preferred over conventional autopsies in our study population.
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