The effectiveness of ERC advanced life support (ALS) provider courses for the retention of ALS knowledge

Henrik Fischer, Guido Strunk, Stephanie Neuhold, Daniel Kiblböck, Helmut Trimmel, Michael Baubin, Hans Domanovits, Claudia Maurer, Robert Greif
Resuscitation 2012, 83 (2): 227-31

PURPOSE: Out-of-hospital emergency physicians in Austria need mandatory emergency physician training, followed by biennial refresher courses. Currently, both standardized ERC advanced life support (ALS) provider courses and conventional refresher courses are offered. This study aimed to compare the retention of ALS-knowledge of out-of-hospital emergency physicians depending on whether they had or had not participated in an ERC-ALS provider course since 2005.

METHODS: Participants (n=807) from 19 refresher courses for out-of-hospital emergency physicians answered eight multiple-choice questions (MCQ) about ALS based on the 2005 ERC guidelines. The pass score was 75% correct answers. A multivariate logistic regression analyzed differences in passing scores between those who had previously participated in an ERC-ALS provider course and those who had not. Age, gender, regularity of working as an out-of-hospital emergency physician and the self-reported number of real resuscitation efforts within the last 6months were entered as control variables.

RESULTS: Out-of-hospital emergency physicians who had previously attended an ERC-ALS provider course had a significantly higher chance of passing the MCQ test (OR=1.60, p=0.015). Younger age (OR=0.95, p<0.001), regular work as an out-of-hospital emergency physician (OR=2.66, p<0.001) and a higher number of self-reported resuscitations within the last 6months (OR=1.08, p=0.002) were also significant predictors of passing the test.

CONCLUSION: Out-of-hospital emergency physicians that had attended an ERC-ALS provider course since 2005 had a higher retention of ALS knowledge compared to non-ERC-ALS course participants.

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