Instructor retraining and poster retraining are equally effective for the retention of BLS and AED skills of lifeguards

Eur J Emerg Med. 2010 Jun;17(3):150-7. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e32833096e0.


Introduction: More than a million people in the USA and Europe suffer a sudden cardiac arrest each year. Thousands of people have to be trained in delivering help in such a situation. This cluster-randomized study compared two refresher training methods for basic life support and use of an automated external defibrillation: a traditional instructor-led course, and self-instruction by poster.

Methods: One hundred and thirty-nine lifeguards were assigned to one of the two groups. Group A (n=79) received a 1.5 h, instructor-led refresher training course, whereas group B (n=60) was advised to refresh their own knowledge with a poster, a manikin, and an automated external defibrillation training device. The lifeguards were assessed 3, 6, and 12 months after the initial training.

Results: Seventy-five percent of the lifeguards in each group were deemed competent after 3 months. After 6 months, 78% lifeguards in group A and 75% in group B were considered competent. After 12 months, this was 71 and 76%, respectively. Young, less experienced lifeguards performed better than older, more experienced lifeguards.

Conclusion: Refresher self-training by the use of a poster was as effective as, and more flexible than, scheduled, instructor-led refresher training.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education*
  • Curriculum
  • Defibrillators*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manikins
  • Pain Measurement
  • Posters as Topic
  • Professional Competence
  • Qualitative Research
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Swimming*
  • Young Adult