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Table 2 Methodological quality scoring system

From: A systematic review of post-deployment injury-related mortality among military personnel deployed to conflict zones

Methodological Consideration Sources – points Number of Sources Examined – Points Independent Confirmation of Sources – Points Total Minimum Points Possible Total Maximum Points Possible
Veteran Status (Maximum Points = 20)
US state bonus lists – 14
US state vital records – 18
US DMDC – 18
US VA-BIRLS – 18
US Graves Registration – 19
US Military Records (DD214) – 19
US NPRC – 20
US Special Lists – 16
Australian Service Records – 19
UK Ministry of Defense Records – 18
1 source – 0
2 sources – 1
3 sources – 2
Independent confirmation – 1 14 23
Conflict-zone Status (Maximum Points = 20)
US state bonus lists – 17
US DMDC – 19
US Military Records (DD214) – 18
US NPRC – 19
US VA-BIRLS – 18
US special lists – 16
Australian Service Records – 20
UK Ministry of Defense Records – 18
   17 20
Vital Status (Maximum Points = 20)
US state vital records – 20
US VA-BIRLS – 17
US SSA – 18
US VA-BIRLS & SSA – 19
US graves registration -19
US IRSb – 10
US NDI – 20
US Military Records – 19
UK Office of National Statistics – 20
UK Defense Analytic Service Agency – 19
Australian state and territorial registers – 20
Australian electoral records – 18
Australian death registers – 19
Australian immigration data – 14
Australian Army records – 19
Australian driver's license data – 17
Australian NDI – 19
1 source – 0
2 sources – 1
3 sources – 2
4 sources – 3
5 sources – 4
6 sources – 5
Independent confirmation – 2 17 27
Cause of Death Coding (Maximum Points = 20)
US state vital records – 17
US NDI Plus – 17
Australian NDI – 17
UK Office for National Statistics – 17
Nosologist using death certificate – 18
Nosologist using death certificate plus other sources – 20
   17 20
Study Design (Maximum Points = 10)
Proportionate Mortality – 5
Retrospective Cohort – 10
   5 10
Total Points 90 7 3 70 100
  1. aAbbreviations in table: VA-BIRLS = Veterans Administration-Beneficiary Identification and Record Locator Subsystem; NPRC = National Personnel Records Center; DMDC = Defense Manpower Data Center; SSA = Social Security Administration; IRS = Internal Revenue Service; NDI = National Death Index; DD = Department of Defense; UK = United Kingdom, US = United States
  2. bNo study used IRS records alone to determine vital status