How can modifiable factors be classified?

Modifiable factors can be divided into:

  • Modifiable factors related to the family or caregiver. Examples include not taking children for immunisation, delay in taking an ill child to clinic, poor nutrition, not recognising that a child was ill, neglect and abuse.
  • Modifiable factors associated with the clinical staff. Examples include poor clinical assessment, giving the incorrect treatment, delay in referral, inadequate notes and not seeing a child when asked to do so.
  • Modifiable factors related to the administration. Examples include lack of facilities, equipment or staff, lack of training, inadequate transport, poor communication, lack of policy or medications, and no laboratory service.

Modifiable factors may be related to the caregiver, clinical staff or administration.

Any event, act or omission contributing to the death or to substandard care should be regarded as a modifiable factors.

A comprehensive (full) list of common modifiable factors should be drawn up and referred to when each death is discussed. It is helpful if each modifiable factor is given a specific code as this makes the analysis of modifiable factors much easier.

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