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Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2013 May 15;21:39. doi: 10.1186/1757-7241-21-39.

Can mass education and a television campaign change the attitudes towards cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a rural community?

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Centre of Head and Orthopaedics, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is improved when bystanders provide Basic Life Support (BLS). However, bystander BLS does not occur frequently. The aim of this study was to assess the effects on attitudes regarding different aspects of resuscitation of a one-year targeted media campaign and widespread education in a rural Danish community. Specifically, we investigated if the proportion willing to provide BLS and deploy an automated external defibrillator (AED) increased.


BLS and AED courses were offered and the local television station had broadcasts about resuscitation in this study community. A telephone enquiry assessed the attitudes towards different aspects of resuscitation among randomly selected citizens before (2008) and after the project (2009).


For responses from 2008 (n = 824) to 2009 (n = 815), there was a significant increase in the proportions who had participated in a BLS course within the past 5 years, from 34% to 49% (p = 0.0001), the number willing to use an AED on a stranger (p < 0.0001), confident at providing chest compressions (p = 0.03), and confident at providing mouth-to-mouth ventilations (MMV) (p = 0.048). There was no significant change in the proportions willing to provide chest compressions (p = 0.15), MMV (p = 0.23) or confident at recognizing a cardiac arrest (p = 0.09). The most frequently reported reason for not being willing to provide chest compressions, MMV and use an AED was insecurity about how to perform the task.


A targeted media campaign and widespread education can significantly increase the willingness to use an AED, and the confidence in providing chest compressions and MMV. The willingness to provide chest compressions and MMV may be less influenced by a targeted campaign.

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