An educational test of health behavior models in relation to emergency helping

Health Psychol. 1992;11(6):396-402. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.11.6.396.


This study used a true experimental design to evaluate the quality and occurrence of emergency helping behavior among university first-aid students in response to a supplemental educational unit designed to improve bystander helping. The educational unit addressed the inhibitors of emergency helping behavior within the framework of bystander behavior models and was delivered using several behavior modification strategies. Using chi-square analysis, it was found that the 43 treatment students exposed to the supplemental unit responded appropriately to a simulated emergency more often than 41 similar control students not exposed to the unit (32.6% vs. 7.3%, p = .004) and that the effect was confined primarily to women (p = .001). Future emergency care education incorporating similar theory-based educational strategies might improve trained bystander responsiveness and thus enhance the efficiency of prehospital care. Theoretical and future research implications are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Decision Making
  • Emergencies*
  • Female
  • First Aid* / psychology
  • Helping Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male