Effectiveness of a 30-min CPR self-instruction program for lay responders: a controlled randomized study

Bonnie Lynch, Eric L Einspruch, Graham Nichol, Lance B Becker, Tom P Aufderheide, Ahamed Idris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The length of current 4-h classes in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a barrier to widespread dissemination of CPR training. The effectiveness of video-based self-instruction (VSI) has been demonstrated in several studies; however, the effectiveness of this method with older adults is not certain. Although older adults are most likely to witness out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, these potential rescuers are underrepresented in traditional classes. We evaluated a VSI program that comprised a 22-min video, an inflatable training manikin, and an audio prompting device with individuals 40-70 years old. The hypotheses were that VSI results in performance of basic CPR skills superior to that of untrained learners and similar to that of learners in Heartsaver classes.

METHODS: Two hundred and eighty-five adults between 40 and 70 years old who had had no CPR training within the past 5 years were assigned to an untrained control group, Heartsaver training, or one of three versions of VSI. Basic CPR skills were measured by instructor assessment and by a sensored manikin.

RESULTS: The percentage of subjects who assessed unresponsiveness, called the emergency telephone number 911, provided adequate ventilation, proper hand placement, and adequate compression depth was significantly better (P<0.05) for the VSI groups than for untrained controls. VSI subjects tended to have better overall performance and better ventilation performance than did Heartsaver subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: Older adults learned the fundamental skills of CPR with this training program in about half an hour. If properly distributed, this type of training could produce a significant increase in the number of lay responders who can perform CPR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/education
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest/therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manikins
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Programmed Instructions as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording


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