Study objective: Previous studies have demonstrated inaccuracies in knowledge and perceptions regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) among the general public. This study was undertaken to determine the effect of a multimedia educational intervention on knowledge base and resuscitation preferences among the lay public.
Methods: In this prospective interventional study with preintervention and postintervention measurements, a validated multisite survey was administered to 310 volunteer lay participants in community-based settings during 2001 and 2002. The survey was piloted and validated (percentage of agreement index 98.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9810 to 0.9900). An original 8-minute multimedia educational video was written and produced by physicians to provide educational information about cardiac resuscitation to the lay public.
Results: Among 310 participants, the mean age was 40 years (range 17 to 92 years), 67% were female, and 57% reported household incomes of more than 30,000 US dollars. Participants' median estimates of predicted postcardiac arrest survival rate before and after the educational intervention were 50% and 16%, respectively (median change 30%; 95% CI 25% to 35%). Median estimated durations of resuscitative efforts in the emergency department before and after the educational intervention were 30 minutes and 19 minutes, respectively (median change 10 minutes; 95% CI 5 to 15 minutes). For a series of hypothetical scenarios, significantly more participants indicated that they would refuse resuscitative efforts in scenarios involving terminally ill patients after the educational intervention.
Conclusion: Inaccurate perceptions regarding cardiac resuscitation and postarrest survival exist among the lay public. A novel educational intervention demonstrated effective improvements in knowledge base regarding resuscitation, resulting in significant effects on resuscitation preferences among the lay public. Improved public education regarding resuscitation is needed to improve knowledge regarding CPR among the lay public.