The attitudes of cardiac arrest survivors and their family members towards CPR courses

A Kliegel, W Scheinecker, F Sterz, P Eisenburger, M Holzer, A N Laggner
Resuscitation 2000, 47 (2): 147-54

OBJECTIVES: to evaluate self-assessment of first aid knowledge, readiness to make use of it in case of a medical emergency and judgement of a 1-day CPR course by cardiac arrest survivors, their family members and friends as compared to the general public.

BACKGROUND: the recurrence rate of a cardiac arrest after successful resuscitation is high and most of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at the patient's home.

METHODS: medical students trained in basic and advanced life support provided 101 members of the target group and 94 of a sex and age matched control group with a 1-day course in CPR.

RESULTS: after the course, half of the participants in both groups considered their knowledge of first aid to be very good or good. The readiness to perform first aid in a medical emergency increased significantly. Of the target group 96% of the participants as compared with the control group where 91% felt confident to recognise a cardiac arrest; 79 versus 68% considered themselves capable to perform CPR if needed. The course was judged as very good in 71 versus 69% and as good in 25 versus 27% with no differences between groups.

CONCLUSION: one-day CPR courses are well accepted by cardiac arrest survivors, their family members and friends and help to reduce fears of reacting in medical emergencies. They seem to be more motivated to gain and use first aid knowledge than others.

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