Education and age affect skill acquisition and retention in lay rescuers after a European Resuscitation Council CPR/AED course

Konstantina Papalexopoulou, Athanasios Chalkias, Ioannis Dontas, Paraskevi Pliatsika, Charalampos Giannakakos, Panagiotis Papapanagiotou, Afroditi Aggelina, Theodoros Moumouris, Georgios Papadopoulos, Theodoros Xanthos
Heart & Lung: the Journal of Critical Care 2014, 43 (1): 66-71

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether education and age affect skill acquisition and retention in lay rescuers after a European Resuscitation Council (ERC) CPR/AED course.

BACKGROUND: Because of the importance of bystander CPR/AED skills in the setting of cardiac arrest, acquisition and retention of resuscitation skills has gained a great amount of interest.

METHODS: The ERC CPR/AED course format for written and practical evaluation was used. Eighty lay people were trained and evaluated at the end of the course, as well as at one, three, and six months.

RESULTS: Retention of CPR/AED skills improved over time, recording the lowest practical scores at one month after initial training and the lowest written scores at initial training. In practical evaluation scores, when examined longitudinally, age presented a significant adverse effect and higher background education presented a non-significant positive effect. Moreover, regarding written evaluation scores, when examined longitudinally, education presented a significant positive effect while age did not significantly correlate with written scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Education and age affected retention of CPR/AED skills in lay rescuers. Also, our results suggest that the ERC CPR/AED course format may be poorly designed to discriminate between participants with different levels of practical and written resuscitation skills and merit a thorough investigation in future studies.

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