Self-perception of knowledge and confidence in performing basic life support among medical students

Eur J Emerg Med. 2013 Jun;20(3):193-6. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e328355fd59.


Aim: Before implementing new workshops and teaching in our faculty for performing basic life support (BLS), we aimed to determine the level of self-confidence of medical students with regard to the management of cardiac arrest (CA).

Methods: We conducted a preinterventional study. A questionnaire was sent to third-year to sixth-year medical students. We recorded sex, year of training, and personal witnessing of CA. We asked them about their theoretical knowledge on 10 main items of BLS and their self-perception of qualification to conduct a CA situation. We tested the respective influence of sex, year of training, and personal witnessing of CA.

Results: In total, 592 (37%) students completed the questionnaire, 42% of them were men. Less than a third of the students (30%) thought of themselves as being sufficiently qualified to conduct BLS. After the third year, the level of study did not influence their theoretical knowledge or their self-perception of qualification. Male sex and the number of CAs witnessed were the only factors positively associated with better self-confidence regarding qualification.

Conclusion: Self-perception of qualification in BLS is poor in our faculty. In our study, personal witnessing of CA greatly influenced confidence, whereas level of study did not.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Support Care*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Self Concept*
  • Students, Medical*
  • Young Adult