Institute of Medicine report: Evidence supporting alternative training approaches

The Institute of Medicine (IoM) released a report highlighting evidence in support for alternative training strategies to reach the lay public who may not have the time or money to attend traditional classroom Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training. The IoM study found that most of the traditional classes do not reach the individuals who are most likely to be present when a cardiac arrest occurs.

The report highlighted growing evidence in support for alternative methods for bystander training and noted that the use of digital self-instruction provides similar competence, at a lower cost compared to traditional training and has the potential to reach a larger audience. In addition, self-training with a poster was shown to be just as equally effective in providing competency among students.

Randomized controlled trials were used to demonstrate that a 30-minute training module, provided through digital self-training achieves comparable and better refresher training when compared to the traditional 4-hour AHA Heart Saver courses (Aldeen et al., 2013; Lynch et al., 2005; Todd et al., 1999; Wik et al., 1995). This digital self-training was shown to provide similar competence at a lower cost in comparison to traditional classroom-based training.

Even ultrabrief digital training was demonstrated to teach adult bystanders basic CPR skills in just 60 seconds with demonstrated improved responsiveness(Panchal et al., 2014). Similarly, mobile self-training apps with feedback mechanisms were shown to improve performance ((Merchant et al., 2010; Semeraro et al., 2011).

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