Publication date: 
November 13, 2013

In countries with limited vital registration, adult mortality rates are frequently estimated using siblings’ survival histories (SSH) collected during nationally representative surveys such as the Demographic and Health Surveys. Such data may underestimate adult mortality because of reporting errors and omissions of deceased siblings. Dr. Helleringer and fellow researchers developed a new SSH questionnaire, the siblings’ life calendar (SLC), which incorporates recall cues designed to limit omissions of siblings and uses a life calendar approach to improve the reporting of dates and ages. They tested whether the SLC improved the quality and completeness of death reports in SSH during a randomized controlled trial in Niakhar (Senegal).