Distribution of pre-course BLS/AED manuals does not influence skill acquisition and retention in lay rescuers: A randomised study
Papadimitriou, Lila J.
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Aim: The present study aims to investigate whether the distribution of the Basic Life Support and Automated External Defibrillation (BLS/AED) manual, 4 weeks prior to the course, has an effect on skill acquisition, theoretical knowledge and skill retention, compared with courses where manuals were not distributed. Methods: A total of 303 laypeople were included in the present study. The courses were randomised with sealed envelopes in 12 courses, where manuals were distributed to participants (group A) and in 12 courses, where manuals were not distributed to participants (group B). The participants were formally evaluated at the end of the course, and at 1, 3 and 6 months after each course. The evaluation procedure was the same at all time intervals and consisted of two distinct parts: a written test and a simulated cardiac arrest scenario. Results: No significant difference was observed between the two groups in skill acquisition at the time of initial training. Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the groups in performing BLS/AED skills at 1, 3 and 6 months after initial training. Theoretical knowledge in either group at the specified time intervals did not exhibit any significant difference. Significant deterioration of skills was observed in both groups between initial training and at 1 month after the course, as well as between the first and third month after the course. Conclusion: The present study shows that distribution of BLS/AED manuals 1 month prior to the course has no effect on theoretical knowledge, skill acquisition and skill retention in laypeople.