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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Socioeconomic status is associated with provision of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Michael J Mitchell, Benjamin A Stubbs, Mickey S Eisenberg
Prehospital Emergency Care 2009, 13 (4): 478-86
19731160

OBJECTIVE: Although socioeconomic status (SES) has been linked to multiple health outcomes, there have been few studies of the effect of SES on the provision of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during cardiac arrest events and no studies that we know of on the effect of SES on the provision of dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR. This study sought to define the relationship between SES and the provision of bystander CPR in an emergency medical system that includes dispatcher-provided CPR instructions.

METHODS: This study was a retrospective, cohort analysis of cardiac arrests due to cardiac causes occurring in private residences in King County, Washington, from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2005. We used the tax-assessed value of the location of the cardiac arrest as an estimate of the SES of potential bystanders as well as multiple measures from 2000 Census data (education, employment, median household income, and race/ethnicity). We also examined the effect of patient and system characteristics that may affect the provision of bystander CPR. Logistic regression models were used to analyze the association of these factors with two outcomes: the provision of bystander CPR with and without dispatcher assistance.

RESULTS: Forty-four percent (1,151/2,618) of cardiac arrest victims received bystander CPR. Four hundred fifty-seven people (17.5% of the entire study population, 39.7% of those who received any bystander CPR) received CPR without telephone instructions. A total of 694 people received dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR (25.6% of the entire population, 60.4% of those receiving any bystander CPR). After adjusting for demographic and care factors, we found a strong association between the tax-assessed value of the cardiac arrest location and increased odds of the provision of bystander CPR without dispatcher instructions and bystander CPR with dispatcher assistance compared with no bystander CPR.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that higher bystander SES is associated with increased rates of bystander CPR with and without dispatcher instructions. CPR training programs that target lower-SES communities and assessment of these training methods may be warranted.

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