3.8 Description Formats for Congenital Anomalies
Expected time: 1 hour
This section focuses on the methods for describing congenital anomalies in the data-collection process. Poor descriptions will negatively affect data quality.
There are two methods for describing congenital anomalies in data-collection tools: verbatim descriptions and checkboxes.
- Verbatim descriptions allow for more detail, which may be necessary for accurate diagnosis.
- Checkboxes alone might limit data quality. It is more useful to include further options for categorizing congenital anomalies. For example, if a country has the resources to collect data electronically, a checkbox could be useful as a first step, and then a window could open into a drop-down menu with more options to categorize the congenital anomaly.
1. Cleft lip
|Baby born with unilateral, left cleft lip; palate is intact. Baby also has microcephaly and clenched hands.
|Neural tube defects:
☐ Spina bifida
|☒ Cleft lip
☐ Cleft palate
☐ Cleft lip and palate
- These examples demonstrate how using verbatim descriptions can add more thorough information about a diagnosis.
- Using only the checkbox format requires a programme to rely solely on the training and expertise of the member of staff who checked the box, to complete the form.
- A checkbox format might facilitate data management; however, detailed information that would help with a diagnosis may be missed.
- Elective terminations of pregnancy with fetal anomalies, also known as ETOPFA