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Differences in Basic Life Support Knowledge Between Junior Medical Students and Lay People: Web-Based Questionnaire Study

Published in Journal of medical internet research. 2021, vol. 23, no. 2, e25125
Abstract Background: Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation and prompt defibrillation markedly increase the survival rate in the event of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). As future health care professionals, medical students should be trained to efficiently manage an unexpectedly encountered OHCA.

Objective: Our aim was to assess basic life support (BLS) knowledge in junior medical students at the University of Geneva Faculty of Medicine (UGFM) and to compare it with that of the general population.

Methods: Junior UGFM students and lay people who had registered for BLS classes given by a Red Cross–affiliated center were sent invitation links to complete a web-based questionnaire. The primary outcome was the between-group difference in a 10-question score regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation knowledge. Secondary outcomes were the differences in the rate of correct answers for each individual question, the level of self-assessed confidence in the ability to perform resuscitation, and a 6-question score, “essential BLS knowledge,” which only contains key elements of the chain of survival. Continuous variables were first analyzed using the Student t test, then by multivariable linear regression. Fisher exact test was used for between-groups comparison of binary variables.

Results: The mean score was higher in medical students than in lay people for both the 10-question score (mean 5.8, SD 1.7 vs mean 4.2, SD 1.7; P<.001) and 6-question score (mean 3.0, SD 1.1 vs mean 2.0, SD 1.0; P<.001). Participants who were younger or already trained scored consistently better. Although the phone number of the emergency medical dispatch center was well known in both groups (medical students, 75/80, 94% vs lay people, 51/62, 82%; P=.06), most participants were unable to identify the criteria used to recognize OHCA, and almost none were able to correctly reorganize the BLS sequence. Medical students felt more confident than lay people in their ability to perform resuscitation (mean 4.7, SD 2.2 vs mean 3.1, SD 2.1; P<.001). Female gender and older age were associated with lower confidence, while participants who had already attended a BLS course prior to taking the questionnaire felt more confident.

Conclusions: Although junior medical students were more knowledgeable than lay people regarding BLS procedures, the proportion of correct answers was low in both groups, and changes in BLS education policy should be considered.

Keywords Basic life supportCardiopulmonaryCardiopulmonary resuscitationLife supportMedical educationMedical studentsOut-of-hospital cardiac arrestUndergraduate medical education
PMID: 33620322
PMCID: PMC7943337
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Other version: http://www.jmir.org/2021/2/e25125/
Research groups Groupe Savoldelli Georges (simulation) (878)
Médecine d'urgence (24)
(ISO format)
STURNY, Ludovic et al. Differences in Basic Life Support Knowledge Between Junior Medical Students and Lay People: Web-Based Questionnaire Study. In: Journal of medical internet research, 2021, vol. 23, n° 2, p. e25125. doi: 10.2196/25125 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:155610

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Deposited on : 2021-10-21

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