28 Do not attempt resuscitation: university of aberdeen student perspectives

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Do Not Attempt Resuscitation Orders(DNAR) and their contemporary counterparts are cornerstones of End of Life care and as such, of importance within medical education. Previous research indicates the need for a better understanding of patient and physicians perceptions of DNAR topics.

Aims and methods

The objective of the study was to explore medical students(MS) and non-medical students perspectives on DNAR discussions(DNARD), and explore any differences. This was a cross-sectional questionnaire study. MS and Education students(ES) were asked how they felt regarding DNARD taking place in 5 scenarios, a number of questions regarding previous experience, knowledge of DNARD, future preferences, and basic demographics.


The number of valid respondents was 601 (375[MS],226[ES]) representing a response rate of over 70%. There were statistically significant differences between MS and ES in the presented clinical scenarios and future preferences. Ranking of clinical scenarios, highest agreement to lowest, for DNARD to take place were: before surgery, when critically ill, at a GP appointment, on admission to hospital, at an outpatient appointment. Statistically significant demographic differences were also found: 93% of MS having heard of DNAR previously as compared to 59% of ES. Both groups held the view that a DNARD would be beneficial for them in the future but that they should have the final decision regarding DNAR.


MS and ES were found to hold differing views regarding DNARD in scenario preferences and personal future preferences. However, the majority of both groups felt that DNARD would be beneficial to them in the future.

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