Nursing knowledge of and attitude in cardiopulmonary arrest: cross-sectional survey analysis

PeerJ. 2019 Feb 7;7:e6410. doi: 10.7717/peerj.6410. eCollection 2019.


Background: Nurses are often the first to activate the chain of survival when a cardiorespiratory arrest happens. That is why it is crucial that they keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date and their attitudes to resuscitation are very important. The main aim of this study was to analyse whether the level of theoretical and practical understanding affected the attitudes of nursing staff.

Methods: A questionnaire was designed using the Delphi technique (three rounds). The questionnaire was adjusted and it was piloted on a test-retest basis with a convenience sample of 30 registered nurses. The psychometric characteristics were evaluated using a sample of 347 nurses using Cronbach's alpha. Descriptive analysis was performed to describe the sociodemographic variables and Spearman's correlation coefficient to assess the relationship between two scale variables. Pearson's chi-squared test has been used to study the relationship between two categorical variables. Wilcoxon Mann Whitney test and the Kruskal-Wallis test were performed to establish relationships between the demographic/work related characteristics and the level of understanding.

Results: The Knowledge and Attitude of Nurses in the Event of a Cardiorespiratory Arrest (CAEPCR) questionnaire comprised three sections: sociodemographic information, theoretical and practical understanding, and attitudes of ethical issues. Cronbach's alpha for the internal consistency of the attitudes questionnaire was 0.621. The knowledge that nurses self-reported with regard to cardiopulmonary arrest directly affected their attitudes. Their responses raised a number of bioethical issues.

Conclusions: CAEPCR questionnaire is the first one which successfully linked knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the attitudes towards ethical issues Health policies should ensure that CPR training is mandatory for nurses and all healthcare workers, and this training should include the ethical aspects.

Keywords: Attitudes; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Ethics; Healthcare training; Knowledge; Nursing.

Grant support

This work was partially funded by the OSI Bilbao-Basurto (Osakidetza). There was no additional external funding received for this study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.