Geographic variation in inquest rates in Australia

Simon J Walter, Lyndal Bugeja, Matthew J Spittal, David M Studdert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the relationship between the remoteness of locations in which deaths occur and coroners' decisions to hold inquests. We analysed 16,242 deaths investigated by coroners in three Australian states over 7.5 yrs. We used a choropleth map to show inquest rates in each remoteness locality (excluding deaths for which inquests were mandated by statute). We then used adjusted logistic regression to assess the association between the remoteness of a death's location and the odds coroners would select it for investigation by inquest. We found the remoteness of a death's location strongly and positively predicts the chance that an inquest will be held. Like analogous findings in the delivery of health services, this small-area variation in legal decision making raises questions of appropriateness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1435
Number of pages6
JournalHealth & Place
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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