Psychological factors inhibiting family member’s confidence to initiate CPR
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Trudy Dwyer
Introduction: A minority of bystanders will initiate cardiopulmonary (CPR) when a family member collapses in the home. This study sought to better understand the psychological barriers to family-initiated CPR and to determine whether socio-demographic variables are influential. Methods: Twelve hundred and eight people were contacted via telephone and asked about their experience with CPR experiences and attitudes towards initiating CPR on a family member. Results: Seventy-four percent of participants had learnt CPR and 68 percent were confident to initiate CPR on a family member. Men, people who had learnt CPR, and people with more than 11 years of education were the most confident groups. People older than 65 were the group least likely to have learnt CPR and least confident to initiate CPR. Participants confident to initiate CPR expressed concerns about fear of failing (37%) or indicated they had no concerns (30%). In contrast, those not confident were most concerned about performing CPR correctly (55%) and 30% were afraid of failing. Conclusion: CPR courses are not reaching those most likely to be called upon to use this skill. Moreover, even among those with CPR training, the desire to ‘get it right’ and fear of failing impair confidence. Psychological barriers to performing CPR should be addressed in training courses, particularly for those groups with the leas confidence such as older people.