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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in secondary schools

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a major public health problem affecting 700 000 persons in Europe and North America annually, and the overall survival rate is generally less than 10%. Early initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can increase survival rates markedly, and this places bystanders in a central role. However, only about 30% of patients receive CPR before the arrival of the Emergency Medical Services.

CPR training in schools has been identified as an essential component to raise bystander CPR rates, because it will ensure that a large proportion of the population is CPR trained. Several organisations, such as the European Parliament and the WHO, therefore recommend CPR training in secondary schools and encourage national legislation.

Despite mandating legislation, low rates of implementation of CPR training in schools have been observed in several countries, including Denmark. Little is known about the reasons for the unsuccessful implementation.

Purpose

Following 8 years of legislation mandating CPR training, we aimed to assess contemporary rates, and explore barriers and facilitators to implementation of CPR training in Danish secondary schools.

Methods

  1. A qualitative study based on semi-structured individual interviews and focus groups with a total of 25 participants, nine school leaders, and 16 teachers at eight different secondary schools in Denmark (2012–2013).
  2. A nationwide cross‐sectional survey of Danish school leadership (n=1240) and ninth‐grade homeroom teachers (n=1381) was carried out for school year 2013‐2014.

Project period

The project is completed. All results have been published.

Collaboration and funding

Department of Cardiology, Copenhagen University Hospital Herlev and Gentofte; and Department of Health, Science and Technology, Aalborg University.

This project is funded by TrygFonden.

 

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