This past week, a new CPR Improvement Working Group, formed to help improve CPR skill performance, announced the results of the first-ever, multi-national attitudinal survey concerning the performance of CPR by healthcare professionals. JEMS Editor-in-Chief, A.J. Heightman attended the panel discussion of leading resuscitation experts held concurrently with theAmerican Heart Association's (AHA) annual meeting in Orlando, where the results were released.
"The results exhibit the gap that exists between what responders perceptions are about their ability to perform consistent, adequate CPR, and what the reality of CPR performance really is," he noted.
Robert O'Connor, MD, University of Virginia Medical Center and CPR Working Group Expert Council member, said, "The results of this multi-national attitudinal survey help increase understanding of the attitudes of healthcare professionals on CPR and the impact of those attitudes on CPR performance."
The quantitative survey, conducted by Ipsos, a leading global survey-based market research company, provides a broad analysis of how CPR is performed by healthcare professionals on a multi-national basis. The survey consisted of more than 1,000 respondents, including 454 healthcare professionals in the U.S. and 569 from the U.K., France and Germany. Survey results reveal a discrepancy between perception and reality when it comes to CPR knowledge and skill level. Highlights of the survey include:
- Perceived skill isn't aligned with reality.A majority (75%) of healthcare professionals perceive their level of skill at performing CPR as being quite high. However, only 26% stated perceived performance of rate, depth and ratio in compliance with the 2005 AHA and International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) CPR guidelines.
- Healthcare professionals are unaware that CPR is poor.Numerous studies report that CPR performance by healthcare professionals is considered poor, yet the survey results show that very few healthcare professionals are aware of this. More than half (55%) of the responding healthcare professionals thought the results would show that CPR quality was good, very good or excellent.
- CPR Technology is underutilized.In all, 76% of healthcare professionals agree that CPR technology, such as feedback devices, can help improve CPR quality and 65% agree CPR technology should be used. However, only 36% currently use any type of CPR assistance and only 15% use CPR assistance with instantaneous feedback, despite the fact studies show CPR technology can improve CPR performance.
- There's a need for increased CPR training.A vast majority (93%) of healthcare professionals believe training is extremely valuable. However, less than half report that their organization provides training beyond requirements.
Dana Edelson, MD, from the University of Chicago Hospital and a CPR Working Group Expert Council member, said, "CPR is a complex, time-sensitive procedure with high stakes where the quality directly impacts patient outcomes. This insightful survey, coupled with existing clinical research, highlights the major gap between perception and reality in CPR skill and performance of healthcare professionals, stimulating a discussion about how CPR skill level and performance can be improved."
The panel noted that research has shown that the quality of CPR directly improves a victim's chance of survival. University of Pennsylvania Hospital and CPR Working Group Expert Council member, Vinay Nadkarni, MD, pointed out that numerous studies also show that increased training and the use of CPR assistance and feedback devices can greatly improve CPR skill and performance.
Nadkarni added that, "With a number of programs and initiatives already underway and AHA/ILCOR scheduled to issue revised CPR guidelines in 2010, we have an opportunity as healthcare professionals to improve the current state of CPR and potentially increase patient survival outcomes."
The CPR Improvement Working Group, comprised of representatives from Laerdal Medical, Philips Healthcare and ZOLL Medical Corporation, was formed in June 2008 with a mission to work to expand the use of CPR feedback technology by the community, emergency services and healthcare providers to help improve skill performance during the administration of CPR.
For more information on the CPR Improvement Working Group: