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Resuscitation. 2007 Jan;72(1):92-9. Epub 2006 Oct 27.

Immediate life support (ILS) training Impact in a primary care setting?

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C501, Portland Square, Faculty of Health and Social Work, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK.



To evaluate immediate life support (ILS) training in a primary care setting.


A 12 month pre/post-quasi-experimental and qualitative evaluation of ILS training across the counties of Devon and Cornwall (UK). Data were collected via feedback forms, pre/post course knowledge and skills tests and by focus group interviews with key stakeholders.


One hundred and seventy-three professionals from 10 courses took part in the evaluation with a response rate of 93%. Feedback on the course was overwhelmingly positive. A significant improvement in both skills (p < or = 0.001) and knowledge (p < or = 0.001) was shown. However, a proportion of participants had a decline in knowledge by the end of the course. Those attending ILS had a significantly higher knowledge score at the start of the course (p = 0.002) than a group attending a BLS course, indicating that the preparatory course manual had been beneficial. Knowledge did not decline significantly by 6 months but skills did (p = 0.02), but remained higher than pre-course levels (p < or = 0.001). Knowledge (p = 0.008) and skill (p < or = 0.002) retention following the ILS course was significantly higher than in the BLS course sub-group, indicating the added value of ILS. The focus groups raised a number of themes relating to release of staff; funding issues; and the observed and reported effects of assessment inequity mainly relating to 'failure to fail' and 'dove and hawk' approaches.


The course leads to a significant increase in skills and knowledge with good knowledge retention. Skill decline is significant which raises questions about the practice of practitioners who are not updated regularly. Issues of funding, staff resources and the assessment ethics and strategy need to be addressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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