Video-based CPR course results in better CPR skills than classroom course.

Study objective: Despite the proven efficacy of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), only a small fraction of the population knows how to perform it. As a result, rates of bystander CPR and rates of survival from cardiac arrest are low. Bystander CPR is particularly uncommon in the African American community. Successful development of a simplified approach to CPR training could boost rates of bystander CPR and save lives. We conducted the following randomized, controlled study to determine whether video self-instruction (VSI) in CPR results in comparable or better performance than traditional CPR training. Methods: This randomized, controlled trial was conducted among congregational volunteers in an African American church in Atlanta, GA. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 34 minutes of VSI or the 4-hour American Heart Association "Heartsaver" CPR course. Two months after training, blinded observers used explicit criteria to assess CPR performance in a simulated cardiac arrest setting. A recording manikin was used to measure ventilation and chest compression characteristics. Participants also completed a written test of CPR-related knowledge and attitudes. Results: VSI trainees displayed a comparable level of performance to that achieved by traditional trainees. Observers scored 40% of VSI trainees competent or better in performing CPR, compared with only 16% of traditional trainees (absolute difference 24%, 95% confidence interval 8% to 40%). Data from the recording manikin confirmed these observations. VSI trainees and traditional trainees achieved comparable scores on tests of CPR-related knowledge and attitudes. Conclusion: Thirty-four minutes of VSI can produce CPR of comparable quality to that achieved by traditional training methods. VSI provides a simple, quick, consistent, and inexpensive alternative to traditional CPR instruction, and may be used to extend CPR training to historically underserved populations.

Todd KH, Heron SL, Thompson M, Dennis R, O'Connor J, Kellermann AL: Simple CPR: A randomized, controlled trial of video self-instructional cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in an African American church congregation. Ann Emerg Med December 1999;34:73 [source]