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New research from NOSM faculty member

Posted on February 15, 2019

Health-care providers who undergo monthly cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training achieved or maintained higher-quality CPR skills than those who underwent quarterly or yearly training, according to a new study published in Resuscitation.

Nurses from the intensive care unit, operating and emergency rooms, and medical and surgical wards of Health Sciences North Hospital in Sudbury, Ontario, underwent short, workplace-based CPR training sessions at 1, 3, 6 and 12 month intervals to determine the training interval associated with the highest-quality CPR performance at one year.

At their baseline assessment, 5 per cent of participants performed Excellent CPR as defined by the American Heart Association and European Resuscitation Council guidelines, which aligns with what has been seen in most health care centres.  Researchers from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) found that participants who trained monthly had a significantly higher rate of Excellent CPR than at one year than those in all other groups. Among the 167 nurses in the study, 58 per cent of those who trained monthly performed Excellent CPR at one year, compared with 26 per cent of those who trained every three months, 21 per cent of those who trained every six months, and 15 per cent of those who trained annually.

“Despite the fact that most undergo annual basic life support training, healthcare providers often struggle to provide high-quality, guideline compliant CPR, which directly affects patient outcomes,” said Dr. Rob Anderson, Associate Professor at NOSM and lead author of the study. “Our research suggests the solution to this issue may be monthly training sessions.”

Although monthly training received the best results in this study, increased training frequency could result in increased costs from equipment needs, time spent to train staff members, and support for clinical impact on health care providers, according to the authors. They suggest the cost-effectiveness of frequent spaced training and strategies to be cost effective should be the subjects of future study.

“This study not only added important information to the body of work looking at the best way to train front line health providers, but directly improved the quality of care for patients at Health Sciences North,” said Anderson.

Read the full study here.