Evaluation of skills acquisition using a new low-cost tool for CPR self-training

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Abstract

Background:

High-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) remains essential to improve the outcome of patients in sudden cardiorespiratory arrest. Feedback on performance is a crucial component of the learning processes associated with simulation and has been shown to improve CPR quality during simulated cardiac arrest on mannequins. This study aims to evaluate skills acquisition using a new low-cost feedback device for CPR self-training when compared to standard training methods.

Methods:

Thirty-nine pregraduated medical and biomedical engineering students were recruited for a longitudinal double-blinded randomized control study. For training Basic Life Support skills, the control group used a standard task-trainer and received feedback from an instructor. The intervention group used the same standard task-trainer, instrumented with the CPR Personal Trainer that provided automated performance feedback (with no instructor) on compression-related parameters. Students’ knowledge and skills were assessed before and after training, through a theoretical knowledge test and 2 minutes of CPR practical performance.

Results:

The theoretical tests showed an improvement both in the intervention and in the control group. For each compression-related parameters (hands position, recoil, rate, and depth), significant increase in scores is observed, between the pre- and the post-test, in both groups. The intervention and control groups presented identical mean differences for the total score (0.72 vs 0.72), with no statistical difference (P = 0.754).

Conclusions:

The proposed tool proved to be effective in the acquisition of compression-related skills, with similar outcomes as the traditional instructor-based method, corroborating the hypothesis that a low-cost tool with feedback for CPR self-training can provide an alternative or a complementary extension to traditional training methods. The system can also be considered cost-efficient as it reduces the permanent presence of an instructor for the chest compressions training, promoting regular training outside formal training courses.

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