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A comparison of pediatric basic life support self-led and instructor-led training among nurses

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Pediatric cardiac arrest carries a poor prognosis. Basic life support improves survival. Studies on pediatric basic life support (PBLS) training are sparse. The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of self-training in PBLS.

Participants and methods

We conducted a prospective controlled trial enrolling nurses from pediatric and maternity wards (n=29 in each group). Self-training, including a manikin and access to a web-based video on PBLS, was compared with a 2-h instructor-led course. Two weeks after training, all participants were tested in a mock scenario of pediatric cardiac arrest. Fifteen parameters equivalent to the steps in the PBLS algorithm – for example, effective ventilations, effective chest compressions, calling for help, and correct sequence of actions, were evaluated and rated dichotomously (1=approved or 0=not approved).


No difference was observed in the baseline demographics between the self-training group and the instructor-led group. The participants in the self-training group accessed the website 2±1.5 times (mean±SD) and spent 41±25 min on the site. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the overall average score (10.5 in the self-training group vs. 10.0 in the instructor-led group, P=0.51) or in any of the 15 parameters. After the study, all participants felt that they had improved their skills and felt capable of performing PBLS.


Self-training is not statistically different to instructor-led training in teaching PBLS. Self-evaluated confidence improved, but showed no difference between groups. PBLS may be disseminated through self-training.
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Keywords: cardiopulmonary resuscitation; instructor-led training; pediatric basic life support; self-training

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Cardiology, Department of Cardiology, Vejle Hospital, Vejle 2: Research Center for Emergency Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Regional Hospital of Randers, Randers 3: Department of Anaesthesiology, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway 4: General Practice, Mølledamsgade 1, Silkeborg 5: Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark 6: Department of Pediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus 7: Department of Cardiology, Research Center for Emergency Medicine

Publication date: February 1, 2017

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