Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 07-Proportion of babies born of low birth weight, 2014, QS

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
Synonymous names:Help on this termData quality statement — Indicator 7 Proportion of babies born of low birthweight
METeOR identifier:Help on this term567179
Registration status:Help on this termIndigenous, Archived 17/02/2016

Relational attributes

Indicators linked to this Quality statement:Help on this term

National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 07-Proportion of babies born of low birth weight, 2014 Indigenous, Archived 24/11/2014

Data quality

Quality statement summary:Help on this term

Birthweight is included in the Perinatal national minimum data set (NMDS) and data are complete for over 99.9 per cent of babies.

The National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC) has since 2005 included information on the Indigenous status of the mother in accordance with the Perinatal NMDS. Indigenous status of the baby was added to the Perinatal NMDS for collection from July 2012.

In 2011, information about Indigenous status of the baby was available for NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas, the ACT and the NT only. In these six jurisdictions overall 6.2 per cent of babies born in the reference period had missing Indigenous status information.

No formal national assessment has been undertaken to assess the validity of Indigenous mothers or babies in the NPDC or to determine variability between states and territories. The current data have not been adjusted for under-identification of Indigenous status of the mother or the baby and thus jurisdictional comparisons should not be made.

Remoteness data for 2010 and previous years are not directly comparable to remoteness data for 2011 and subsequent years.

Institutional environment:Help on this term

The National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit (NPESU) calculated this indictor on behalf of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The AIHW is an independent statutory authority within the Health and Ageing portfolio, which is accountable to the Parliament of Australia through the Minister for Health and Ageing. For further information see the AIHW website.

Data collected as part of the National Perinatal Data Collection include a National Minimum Data Set and were supplied by state and territory health authorities to the NPESU, a collaborating unit of the Institute. The state and territory health authorities receive these data from patient administrative and clinical records. This information is usually collected by midwives or other birth attendants. States and territories use these data for service planning, monitoring and internal and public reporting.

Timeliness:Help on this term

The reference period for the data is 2007 to 2011. Single year data (2011) has been provided for time series. Data are collected on an ongoing basis and are compiled by the AIHW annually.

Accessibility:Help on this term

The AIHW provides a variety of products that draw upon the NPDC. Published products available on the AIHW website are:

  • Australia’s mothers and babies annual report
  • Indigenous mothers and their babies, Australia 2001-2004
  • METeOR – the online metadata repository
  • National health data dictionary.

Ad-hoc data are also available on request (charges apply to recover costs). Data for this indicator are published annually in Australia’s mothers and babies; and biennially in reports such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework report, The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and the Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report.

Interpretability:Help on this term

Supporting information on the quality and use of the NPDC are published annually in Australia’s mothers and babies (Chapter 1), available in hard copy or on the AIHW website. Comprehensive information on the quality of Perinatal NMDS elements are published in Perinatal National Minimum Data Set compliance evaluation 2006 to 2009. Readers are advised to read caveat information to ensure appropriate interpretation of the performance indicator. More detailed information on the quality of Indigenous data that might affect interpretation of the indicator was published in Indigenous mothers and their babies, Australia 2001-2004 (Chapter 1 and Chapter 5).

Metadata information for this indicator are published in the AIHW’s online metadata repository, METeOR. Metadata information for the Perinatal NMDS are also published in METeOR and the National health data dictionary.

Relevance:Help on this term

The National Perinatal Data Collection comprises data items as specified in the Perinatal national minimum data set plus additional items collected by the states and territories. The purpose of the Perinatal NMDS is to collect information at birth for monitoring pregnancy, childbirth and the neonatal period for both the mother and baby(s).

The Perinatal NMDS is a specification for data collected on all births in Australia in hospitals, birth centres and the community. It includes information for all live births and stillbirths of at least 400 grams birthweight or at least 20 weeks gestation, except in Vic and WA, where included if gestational age is 20 weeks or more or if gestation unknown birthweight is at least 400 grams. It includes data items relating to the mother, including demographic characteristics and factors relating to the pregnancy, labour and birth; and data items relating to the baby, including birth status, sex, gestational age at birth, birthweight and neonatal morbidity and fetal deaths.

The NPDC includes all relevant data elements of interest for this indicator. Birthweight of the baby and Indigenous status of the mother are Perinatal NMDS items. The Perinatal NMDS currently has no data item for the Indigenous status of the baby, and thus reporting of Indigenous status of the baby is based on maternal Indigenous status. In 2011, this represented approximately 73 per cent of all Indigenous births based on data from ABS birth registrations (ABS 2012: Births, Australia 2011).

Consultation for a new data element to collect Indigenous status of the baby was completed in June 2010 and the data element will be added to the Perinatal NMDS from July 2012. While each jurisdiction has a unique perinatal form for collecting data on which the format of the Indigenous status question and recording categories varies slightly, all systems include the NMDS item on Indigenous status of mother.

No formal national assessment has been undertaken to determine completeness of the coverage of Indigenous mothers in the Perinatal NMDS. However, the proportion of Indigenous mothers for the period 2002–2011 has been consistent, at 3.6–3.9 per cent of women who gave birth. Comparisons between states and territories should be interpreted with caution.

Babies of mothers for whom Indigenous status was not stated have been excluded from rates but are included in totals for this indicator. Data excludes multiple births, stillbirths, and births with unknown birthweight.

Analysis by state/territory is based on the usual residence of the mother.

Excludes Australian non-residents of external territories and where state/territory of residence was not stated.

Reporting by remoteness is in accordance with the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) for 2011 data and in accordance with the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) for earlier data.

Accuracy:Help on this term

Inaccurate responses may occur in all data provided to the Institute. The Institute does not have direct access to perinatal records to determine the accuracy of the data provided. However, the NPESU undertakes validation on receipt of data by the Institute. Data received from states and territories are checked for completeness, validity and logical errors. Potential errors are queried with jurisdictions, and corrections and resubmissions are made in response to these edit queries. The NPESU does not adjust data to account for possible data errors.

Errors may occur during the processing of data by the states and territories or at the AIHW. Processing errors prior to data supply may be found through the validation checks applied by the NPESU. The data supplied for the 2011 NPDC by Victoria to prepare this indicator was not the final data. Further minor changes to the data are unlikely to produce any detectable change to the indicator. This indicator is calculated on data that has been reported to the AIHW. Prior to publication, these data are referred back to jurisdictions for review. The NPESU does not adjust the data to correct for missing values. Note that because of data editing and subsequent updates of state/territory databases, and because data are being reported by place of residence rather than place of birth, the numbers reported for this indicator differ from those in reports published by the states and territories. The data are not rounded.

Data presented by Indigenous status are influenced by the quality and completeness of Indigenous identification of mothers and babies which is likely to differ among jurisdictions. Approximately 0.2 per cent of mothers who gave birth in the reference period had missing Indigenous status information. In 2011, information about Indigenous status of the baby was available for NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas, the ACT and the NT only. 6.2 per cent of babies who were born in the reference period had missing Indigenous status information, ranging from 0.4 per cent in Qld to 26.0 per cent in Tas. No adjustments have been made for under-identification or missing Indigenous status information and thus jurisdictional comparisons should not be made.

Three years of data have been combined to minimise random statistical variation and to minimise the risk of data governance issues such as identification.

Coherence:Help on this term

Changing levels of Indigenous identification over time and across jurisdictions affect the accuracy of compiling a consistent time series.

In 2011, the ABS updated the standard geography used in Australia for most data collections from the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). Remoteness areas were also updated at this time, based on the 2011 ABS Census of Population and Housing.

The new remoteness areas will be referred to as RA 2011, and the previous remoteness areas as RA 2006. Data for 2007 through to 2010 reported by remoteness are reported for RA 2006. Data for 2011 are reported for RA 2011. The AIHW considers the change from RA 2006 to RA 2011 to be a series break when applied to data supplied for this indicator, therefore remoteness data for 2010 and previous years are not comparable to remoteness data for 2011 and subsequent years.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Origin:Help on this term

AIHW National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC)

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 07-Proportion of babies born of low birth weight, 2013 QS Indigenous, Archived 25/06/2014

Has been superseded by National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 07—Proportion of babies born of low birthweight, 2015, Quality Statement Indigenous, Archived 07/02/2017

My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term