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Title: The accuracy and reliability of the Suchey-Brooks pubic symphysis age estimation method: Systematic review and meta-analysis
Contributor(s): Schanandore, James V (author); Wolden, Mitch  (author); Smart, Neil  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2022-01
Early Online Version: 2021-10-07
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14911
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Suchey-Brooks method has been studied many times with varying reports of accuracy and reliability. A systematic review and meta-analyses were utilized to quantitatively determine the accuracy and reliability of the Suchey-Brooks (S-B) method. A systematic search of PubMed and EBSCO health and medical databases was performed. Meta-analyses were performed to quantify the relationship between actual known age at death and the S-B method using Spearman's Rho and Pearson's r for (1) combined males and females estimates, (2) male-only estimates, and (3) female-only estimates. Overall correlation coefficient using Cohen's kappa, Spearman's Rho, and Pearson's r was also calculated to determine the interrater and intrarater reliability using the S-B method. Eighteen studies classified as moderate-to-high methodological quality met the inclusion criteria. The sample sizes were different for the combined male and female (n = 2620), male-only (n = 2602), and female-only (n = 1431) meta-analyses. The effect size of the age at death meta-analyses was large and significant for combined males and females (Spearman's Rho = 0.62; Pearson's r = 0.65), male-only (Spearman's Rho = 0.77; Pearson's r = 0.75), and female-only (Spearman's Rho = 0.71; Pearson's r = 0.71). The overall correlation coefficients of the interrater (Kappa = 0.76; Spearman's Rho = 0.73; Pearson's r = 0.80) and intrarater (Kappa = 0.81; Spearman's Rho = 0.91; Pearson's r = 0.83) reliability meta-analyses were large and significant. A significant degree of heterogeneity was present in all meta-analyses, with minimal evidence of publication bias. The meta-analyses results suggest the S-B method is highly reliable with a moderate-to-high degree of accuracy. Our results also identified sample size and accuracy differences between male and female individuals.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Forensic Sciences, 67(1), p. 56-67
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1556-4029
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 320299 Clinical sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200299 Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Science and Technology

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