Effectiveness of a 30-min CPR self-instruction program for lay responders: A controlled randomized study

Bonnie Lynch, Eric L. Einspruch, Graham Nichol, Lance B. Becker, Tom P. Aufderheide, Ahamed Idris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


Background: The length of current 4-h classes in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a barrier to widespread dissemination of CPR training. The effectiveness of video-based self-instruction (VSI) has been demonstrated in several studies; however, the effectiveness of this method with older adults is not certain. Although older adults are most likely to witness out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, these potential rescuers are underrepresented in traditional classes. We evaluated a VSI program that comprised a 22-min video, an inflatable training manikin, and an audio prompting device with individuals 40-70 years old. The hypotheses were that VSI results in performance of basic CPR skills superior to that of untrained learners and similar to that of learners in Heartsaver classes. Methods: Two hundred and eighty-five adults between 40 and 70 years old who had had no CPR training within the past 5 years were assigned to an untrained control group, Heartsaver training, or one of three versions of VSI. Basic CPR skills were measured by instructor assessment and by a sensored manikin. Results: The percentage of subjects who assessed unresponsiveness, called the emergency telephone number 911, provided adequate ventilation, proper hand placement, and adequate compression depth was significantly better (P < 0.05) for the VSI groups than for untrained controls. VSI subjects tended to have better overall performance and better ventilation performance than did Heartsaver subjects. Conclusions: Older adults learned the fundamental skills of CPR with this training program in about half an hour. If properly distributed, this type of training could produce a significant increase in the number of lay responders who can perform CPR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Age
  • Bystander CPR
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Education
  • Out-of-hospital CPR
  • Witnessed cardiac arrest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Effectiveness of a 30-min CPR self-instruction program for lay responders: A controlled randomized study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this