Periodic reinforcement of knowledge and attitude towards basic life support skills among the medical undergraduates: A necessity of undergraduate medical education
Keywords:First-year medical undergraduate, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic life support, knowledge, attitude
Introduction and Aim: A sudden cardiac arrest can be a life-threatening emergency with poor survival rates. By learning basic life support (BLS) and practicing simple cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the patient is likely to survive until arrival of expert medical help. The study therefore aims to determine if trained medical undergraduate students retain knowledge and attitude regarding skills.
Methods: About 150 students in the first year of medical school participated in the current study. The students attended two BLS training sessions of three hours each. The students were evaluated at six weeks and followed up at six months following the initial training session. The psychomotor skills were check-listed, and the performance was scored between 0 to 5. Data on knowledge and attitudes were collected with a pre-validated self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Among the participants, 69% were males, and 33% were females. The mean age group of study subjects was 21 ± three years. The skill scores (p=0.001) and knowledge scores (p=0.001) were significantly different at six weeks and six months after the initial training. Six weeks after the initial training session, the percentage of correct responses for knowledge questions was significantly higher than six months later. Approximately 86.3% of participants felt the BLS training was adequate to perform resuscitation confidently, while only 66.7% were confident after six months of training (p=0.001). Also, the number of students confident to give BLS during a medical emergency was significantly higher at six weeks after the initial training session than six months (p=0.001).
Conclusion: The study shows significant decay in psychomotor skills and knowledge and attitude among the medical undergraduates. Therefore, regular hands-on training with certifiable courses is required to reinforce skills and update knowledge regarding BLS.
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