Objectives: To examine the extent to which the Utstein style has been used for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOHCA) research since its publication in 1991. The style was developed in an effort to standardize OOHCA research and reporting.
Methods: To locate all OOHCA research papers published between 1992 and 1997, all issues of six emergency medicine/emergency medical services (EM/ EMS) journals were examined manually, and papers from other journals were located using computerized searches. All located articles were examined by the first author to determine whether use of the Utstein style was indicated and if so, whether it had actually been used. When either of these was uncertain, all three authors reviewed the paper, and a consensus was reached. The Pearson chi-square test was used to compare rates of use from U.S. and non-U.S. institutions, and from the EM/EMS and non-EM/EMS literature, with significance set at p < 0.05.
Results: All 143 OOHCA research articles identified by the search were examined. The Utstein style was found to be not applicable to 41 (29%), and these were eliminated. The Utstein style was indicated for the remaining 102 studies. Of these, 41 (40%) used the Utstein style, and 61 (60%) did not. There was no difference in rates between papers from sites in the United States (18/48, 38%) and elsewhere (23/54, 43%), or between papers from the EM/EMS literature (17/44, 39%) and non-EM/EMS literature (25/59, 42%). Despite an upward trend in the use of the Utstein style seen from 1992 to 1994, use leveled off from 1994 to 1997, and has not exceeded 60% in any given calendar year studied.
Conclusions: Six years after the release of the Utstein style for OOHCA research, fewer than 60% of OOHCA research articles actually use the style.