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Evaluation of a newly developed first aid training programme adapted for older people.

BMC Emergency Medicine 2023 November 11
BACKGROUND: Older people need to acquire knowledge and skills at first aid (FA) training tailored to them. Our research aimed to evaluate an FA training programme adapted for older people. We assumed that satisfaction with FA training, as well as knowledge of FA, would be higher among older people who received training according to an adapted programme compared to those who received training according to the existing programme for the general public.

METHODS: We trained older people according to the existing FA programme for the general public and according to a new FA training programme adapted for older people. The new training program is shorter and focuses on FA contents that are more relevant for older people. We evaluated participants with a general assessment questionnaire (consisting of items regarding satisfaction, comprehensibility, length, and physical difficulty), a test on theoretical FA knowledge, and a test on practical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge. To ensure the homogeneity of the groups and to verify the impact on the results of the test of practical CPR knowledge, we also tested the participants regarding their psychophysical capabilities.

RESULTS: A total of 120 people completed the free FA training sessions. The general assessment questionnaire score of participants who were trained based on the new FA training program was 19.3 (out of 20), which was statistically significantly (p < 0.05) higher than that of those trained based on the old program (general assessment score of 17.1). Participants who were trained based on the new program scored an average of 8.6 points on the theoretical FA knowledge test, while those who were trained based on the old program scored an average of 7.1 points, which was statistically significantly (p < 0.05) lower. In both programs, the same average scores (7.5 out of 10 points) on the practical CPR knowledge test was achieved. However, participants who participated in the FA course adapted for the older people gained practical CPR knowledge in a shorter time. Older people with a greater psychophysical capacity were more successful in performing CPR, regardless of which FA training programme they received.

CONCLUSIONS: The effectiveness of FA training is greater if older people are trained in accordance with a targeted programme adapted to the psychophysical limitations of the older people.

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