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The properties of the International Classification of the External Cause of Injury when used as an instrument for injury prevention research
  1. D Scott1,
  2. J Harrison2,
  3. D Purdie3,
  4. C Bain4,
  5. J Najman4,
  6. J Nixon5,
  7. A B Spinks4,
  8. R J McClure6
  1. 1Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit, Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Centre for Injury Research Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia
  3. 3Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  5. 5School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
  6. 6School of Medicine, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor R McClure
 School of Medicine, Griffith University, University Drive, Measdowbrook, Queensland, Australia 4131; r.mcclure{at}


Objective: To demonstrate properties of the International Classification of the External Cause of Injury (ICECI) as a tool for use in injury prevention research.

Methods: The Childhood Injury Prevention Study (CHIPS) is a prospective longitudinal follow up study of a cohort of 871 children 5–12 years of age, with a nested case crossover component. The ICECI is the latest tool in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) family and has been designed to improve the precision of coding injury events. The details of all injury events recorded in the study, as well as all measured injury related exposures, were coded using the ICECI. This paper reports a substudy on the utility and practicability of using the ICECI in the CHIPS to record exposures. Interrater reliability was quantified for a sample of injured participants using the Kappa statistic to measure concordance between codes independently coded by two research staff.

Results: There were 767 diaries collected at baseline and event details from 563 injuries and exposure details from injury crossover periods. There were no event, location, or activity details which could not be coded using the ICECI. Kappa statistics for concordance between raters within each of the dimensions ranged from 0.31 to 0.93 for the injury events and 0.94 and 0.97 for activity and location in the control periods.

Discussion: This study represents the first detailed account of the properties of the ICECI revealed by its use in a primary analytic epidemiological study of injury prevention. The results of this study provide considerable support for the ICECI and its further use.

  • CHIPS, Childhood Injury Prevention Study
  • ICD, International Classification of Diseases
  • ICECI, International Classification of the External Cause of Injury
  • external cause
  • injury coding
  • coding accuracy
  • injury/disease classification systems
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