Training rates and willingness to perform CPR in King County, Washington: A community survey



      It has been hypothesized that high rates of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in a community will lead to improved survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. However, factors to consider when designing a far-reaching community CPR training program are not well defined. We explored factors associated with receiving CPR training in the survey community and characteristics contributing to willingness to perform CPR in an emergency.


      A telephone survey was administered to 1001 randomly selected residents in September 2008 assessing CPR training history, demographics, and willingness to perform CPR. Characteristics of survey respondents were compared to examine factors that may be associated with reports of being trained compared to reports of never being trained. A stratified analysis compared characteristics of respondents who reported a high level of willingness to perform CPR in those trained compared to those never trained.


      The survey response rate was 39%. Seventy-nine percent of survey respondents reported ever attending a CPR training class. A majority of people (53%) attended their most recent class more than five years ago. People who had never been trained in CPR were older, were more likely to be men and were less likely to have at least a 2-year college degree than those who had ever been trained. Among those who had been trained, younger age, male gender, time of last training and number of times trained were all significantly associated with willingness to perform CPR and none of these factors were associated with willingness in those who had not been trained.


      Retraining rates, methods for reaching underserved populations and measures that will improve the likelihood that bystanders will perform CPR in an emergency should be considered when designing a community CPR education program.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Resuscitation
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Nichol G.
        • Stiell I.G.
        • Laupacis A.
        • Pham B.
        • De Maio V.J.
        • Wells G.A.
        A cumulative meta-analysis of the effectiveness of defibrillator-capable emergency medical services for victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
        Ann Emerg Med. 1999; 34: 517-525
        • Vaillancourt C.
        • Grimshaw J.
        • Brehaut J.C.
        • et al.
        A survey of attitudes and factors associated with successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge transfer in an older population most likely to witness cardiac arrest: design and methodology.
        BMC Emerg Med. 2008; 8: 13
        • Swor R.
        • Khan I.
        • Domeier R.
        • Honeycutt L.
        • Chu K.
        • Compton S.
        CPR training and CPR performance: do CPR-trained bystanders perform CPR?.
        Acad Emerg Med. 2006; 13: 596-601
        • Coons S.J.
        • Guy M.C.
        Performing bystander CPR for sudden cardiac arrest: behavioral intentions among the general adult population in Arizona.
        Resuscitation. 2009; 80: 334-340
        • McLauchlan C.A.
        • Ward A.
        • Murphy N.M.
        • Griffith M.J.
        • Skinner D.V.
        • Camm A.J.
        Resuscitation training for cardiac patients and their relatives—its effect on anxiety.
        Resuscitation. 1992; 24: 7-11
        • Hamasu S.
        • Morimoto T.
        • Kuramoto N.
        • et al.
        Effects of BLS training on factors associated with attitude toward CPR in college students.
        Resuscitation. 2009; 80: 359-364
      1. United States Census Bureau American FactFinder, [accessed 26.03.10].

      2. StataCorp LP, College Station, Texas, USA; 2007

        • Mandel L.P.
        • Cobb L.A.
        CPR training in the community.
        Ann Emerg Med. 1985; 14: 669-671
        • Larsen P.
        • Pearson J.
        • Galletly D.
        Knowledge and attitudes towards cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the community.
        N Z Med J. 2004; 117: U870
        • Axelsson A.B.
        • Herlitz J.
        • Holmberg S.
        • Thoren A.B.
        A nationwide survey of CPR training in Sweden: foreign born and unemployed are not reached by training programmes.
        Resuscitation. 2006; 70: 90-97
        • Jennings S.
        • Hara T.O.
        • Cavanagh B.
        • Bennett K.
        A national survey of prevalence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and knowledge of the emergency number in Ireland.
        Resuscitation. 2009; 80: 1039-1042
        • Lester C.A.
        • Donnelly P.D.
        • Assar D.
        Lay CPR trainees: retraining, confidence and willingness to attempt resuscitation 4 years after training.
        Resuscitation. 2000; 45: 77-82
        • Kuramoto N.
        • Morimoto T.
        • Kubota Y.
        • et al.
        Public perception of and willingness to perform bystander CPR in Japan.
        Resuscitation. 2008; 79: 475-481
        • Hallstrom A.P.
        • Cobb L.A.
        • Johnson E.
        • Copass M.K.
        Dispatcher assisted CPR: implementation and potential benefit. A 12-year study.
        Resuscitation. 2003; 57: 123-129