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Indian Journal of Forensic and Community Medicine

Knowledge of Medical Certificate of Cause of Death amongst Doctors and Errors in Certification

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Author Details : Aarati Pokale, Mandar D Karmarkar

Volume : 3, Issue : 3, Year : 2016

Article Page : 156-162

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Context: Medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) is a vital document issued by a doctor for which World Health Organization has prescribed a standard format. There are many rules and regulations about filling and issuing this certificate. Accuracy in certifying the cause of death is desirable at many levels as it affects international health statistics.
Aims: 1) To compare knowledge and awareness about rules, regulations, and format of medical certificate of cause of death amongst doctors. 2) To audit medical certificates of cause of death issued.
Settings and Design: Cross sectional study hospital based carried out between September to December 2014.
Methods and Material: Faculty members, residents, and interns attending the MCCD training session filled a pre structured, semi open ended, self- administered questionnaire. An audit of medical certificates of cause of death issued between September to December 2014 was done.
Statistical analysis used: Data entered in Microsoft excel. SPSS 19.0 statistical software was used for analysis
Results: Of 91 participants, 22% were from paediatric department, 35% had between 1-5 years of work experience. Statistically significant association was seen between department and knowledge of full form of  MCCD, immediate & contributory cause of death, Form IV & IV A, & separate stillbirth form (p<0.05). Statistically significant association was found between work experience, uses of MCCD, immediate and antecedent cause and use of form IV and IVA (p<0.05). Of the 98 certificates reviewed 92% did not mention time interval. Only 7% certificates were free of error.
Conclusions: There is a need to adopt multi faceted approach to increase knowledge and awareness about rules, regulations of MCCD in doctors to improve accuracy and reliability of data.

Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, MCCD Audit, MCCD Errors, Educational intervention.
Key Messages: The role of data derived from Medical Certificate of Cause of Death in the international health scenario and policy making needs to be emphasised in the minds of certifying doctors. Multi faceted educational and administrative intervention is the needed to make this data reliable and accurate.


How to cite : Pokale A, Karmarkar M D, Knowledge of Medical Certificate of Cause of Death amongst Doctors and Errors in Certification. Indian J Forensic Community Med 2016;3(3):156-162

Copyright © 2016 by author(s) and Indian J Forensic Community Med. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) (