Attitudes towards CPR training and performance in family members of patients with heart disease

Elke Platz, Mark D. Scheatzle, Paul E. Pepe, Stephen R. Dearwater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Considering that heart patients may be at higher risk for cardiac arrest, this study was conducted to evaluate the preparedness and willingness of cardiac patient family members to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A cross-sectional survey of 100 family members of cardiac patients was conducted at a tertiary care emergency department over a 1.5-month period. Response rate was 95%. While 49% reported prior CPR training, only 7% trained within the past year. The majority received training (59%) because of a school or job requirement with only 8% trained because of 'concern for a family member.' The most frequent reasons for not being trained were 'never thought about it' or 'not interested' (57%). However, 49% of the untrained group did report an interest in future training. While 2% of respondents recalled a healthcare professional suggesting such training, 58% stated they would be influenced positively by such a recommendation. The most frequently reported barriers to performing CPR included fear of harming the patient or a lack of knowledge and skill to help. Despite a presumed higher risk for sudden cardiac death, most family members of cardiac patients do not maintain skills in basic CPR. Healthcare professionals may have the ability to significantly alter this concerning statistic through education and routine recommendations to patients' families. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 10 2000


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Out-of-hospital CPR
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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