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Resuscitation. 2003 Aug;58(2):177-85.

A randomized controlled trial of chest compression only CPR for older adults-a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, William Beaumont Hospital, Wayne State University, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA.


Older people are trained infrequently in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), yet are more likely to witness a cardiac arrest. Older people who are CPR trained perform CPR when witnessing a cardiac arrest.


To assess whether elderly adults (>55 years) who receive chest-compression only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CC-CPR) training display equivalent skill retention rates compared with those who receive traditional CPR instruction. We also identified factors associated with 3 months skill retention at 3 months in both groups.


Older adults in a suburban hospital Older Adult Services program were invited to participate in an experimental CPR course. The 2 h course was modelled after the AHA Friends and Family course, and used one of two standardized video scenarios. Seventy four subjects were randomized to CC-CPR (n=36) or traditional CPR (n=38) training. Participation consisted of initial training, followed by a 3 months return videotaped assessment. Three months skill competence was assessed either by consensus between two video evaluators, or the on-site evaluator. Chi square and Kappa tests were used for analysis, and unadjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals are reported.


Skill retention assessments were completed on 29 (81%) CC-CPR and 26 (68%) CPR trainees. Subjects were elderly (71.5+/-6.69 years), and had a high rate of previous CPR training (58.0%). Groups were similar in demographic characteristics. After training, participants exhibited high rates of perceived competence (86.4%), although the overall 3 months skill retention was low (43.6%). CC-CPR training resulted in equivalent skill retention rates as compared with traditional CPR training (51.7 vs. 44.4%; P=0.586). No participant factors were associated with skill retention, including age, previous CPR training, education level, medical history, or perceived physical ability to perform.


We identified low rates of CPR skill retention in this elderly population. CC-CPR instruction was associated with equivalent skill retention rates compared with traditional CPR instruction. No demographic factors were associated with successful skill retention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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