Abstract 267: Assessing Public Perceptions of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Bystander Willingness to Act in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Qualitative Study
Background: Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves the odds of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Despite this, bystander CPR rates are considerably lower in most Canadian communities compared to their international counterparts. Lay public understanding of OHCA and willingness to perform CPR remains poorly understood within a Canadian context.
Objectives: 1)To explore public knowledge and perceptions of OHCA and CPR. 2)To identify barriers and enablers to engaging community members in performing CPR. 3)To better understand experiences with CPR education.
Methods: 21 semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of the general public. Sampling was purposeful using a maximum variation technique. A range of past CPR training experiences, ethnicities and ages were represented in the sample. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim for analysis. An inductive thematic analysis of the data was undertaken and a coding framework developed. Codes were grouped into themes and a concept map was elucidated. Analysis occurred alongside data collection to monitor emerging themes.
Results: 5 themes were identified: 1) knowledge 2) barriers 3) lack of social obligation and responsibility 4) psychological factors and implications and 5) education. Participants frequently wrongly conflated the symptoms of OHCA and those of heart attack; they also overestimated survival rates from OHCA. Many participants articulated the steps of CPR, yet said they would look to others to help first. Concerns about inadequate knowledge/training, causing harm, being watched by others or doing something wrong/missing a step were expressed. Personal safety and concerns about mouth-to-mouth breathing were common. Altruistic values such as a desire to save another person’s life seem to be the primary motivator to providing help. Participants called for simplified education regarding recognition and basic science of OHCA, AEDs and hands-on CPR practice.
Conclusion: This study illuminates important issues surrounding the performance of bystander CPR. This work informed a larger survey to investigate these phenomena at the national level, with a view towards launching new or tailoring existing community interventions.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.