Table 3

Signs and symptoms for surveillance of AIDS mortality, and the availability in INDEPTH—another widely used verbal autopsy questionnaire

Sign/symptomDefinition based on verbal autopsy questionEquivalent in INDEPTH VA questionnaire
Weight lossModerate or severe weight loss with no other symptoms of malnutritionYes
Herpes zosterEver suffered from zosterNot specifically mentioned (shingles, zoster, herpes) but questions on rash, including where the rash is located (not if it is one-sided) and if the rash has blisters. No mention of pain during or after rash
JaundiceAcute jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes during the disease that lead to death) with fever and/or itching but without history of alcohol abuseYes
Vaginal tumoursVaginal tumour for at least 1 month with or without bleedingNo
WastingModerate or severe weight loss with at least four of the following symptoms: paleness, changing hair colour, oedema of legs, burning sensations of the feet, dry scaly skinTwo out of the five symptoms (but different phrasing): paleness oedema of ankles. No mention of changing hair colour, burning feet dry scaly skin (might be identified as rash)
Acute respiratory tract illnessTrouble breathing, cough lasting 3–27 days with fever but not recent TB, weight loss or wasting, as abovePartial cough, with duration fever shortness of breathing noisy breathing. TB—does not specify when
Abscesses or soresHad abscesses or soresNo sores not mentioned, “other swellings or ulcers”
Oral candidiasisHad two or three of the following: ulcers in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, white patches inside the mouth and tongueNo difficulty swallowing
Diarrhoeal diseaseLoose stools lasting 3–99 days, with or without dehydrationYes
  • TB, tuberculosis; VA, verbal autopsy.