The Swedish Neonatal Quality Register - contents, completeness and validity

Acta Paediatr. 2019 Aug;108(8):1411-1418. doi: 10.1111/apa.14823. Epub 2019 May 20.


Aim: To describe the Swedish Neonatal Quality Register (SNQ) and to determine its completeness and agreement with other registers.

Methods: SNQ collects data for infants admitted to neonatal units during the first four postnatal weeks. Completeness and registers' agreement were determined cross-linking SNQ data with Swedish population registers (the Inpatient, Medical Birth and Cause of Death Registers) for a study period of five years.

Results: In total, 84 712 infants were hospitalised. A total of 52 806 infants occurred in both SNQ and the population registers; 28 692 were only found in the population registers, and 3214 infants were only found in SNQ. Between gestational weeks 24-34, completeness of SNQ was 98-99%. Below and above these gestational ages, completeness was lower. Infants missing in SNQ were term or near-term in 99% of the cases, and their diagnoses indicated conditions managed in maternity units, or re-admissions for acute infections, managed in paediatric units. For most diagnoses, the agreement between SNQ and population registers was high, but some (bronchopulmonary dysplasia and grade of hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy) were often missing in the population registers.

Conclusion: SNQ completeness and agreement against other registers, especially for preterm infants, is excellent. SNQ is a valid tool for benchmarking, quality improvement and research.

Keywords: Completeness; Newborn infant; Quality of neonatal care; Register; Validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Hospitals, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Pediatrics*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Registries*