A revolution in CPR training: Videos make volunteer rescuers more responsive

According to the study: Ali, S., Athar, M. and Ahmed, S., M. 2019. "A randomised controlled comparison of video versus instructor-based compression only life support training". Indian Journal of Anaesthesia. Vol. 63, no. 3, 188-193. https://doi.org/10.4103/ija.IJA_737_18

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. The majority of these cardiac arrests occur in the home or in a public place. In short, far from a hospital. The role of bystanders becomes crucial, as immediate bystander CPR can make the difference between life and death. However, in developing countries, illiteracy and a shortage of healthcare professionals are major obstacles to the transmission of CPR training. In order to offer a solution to these obstacles, the study by Ali, S. & coll. explores the possibility of using video training to teach CPR. The researchers studied the effectiveness of this solution compared with traditional instructor-led CPR training for the general public.


Study summary

In this study, researchers investigated the effectiveness of using video training to teach CPR in comparison with traditional instructor-led training. To conduct the study, the researchers recruited 84 university students interested in voluntary CPR training. They were randomly divided into two groups: one group was trained by a video-based demonstration (VBD) and the other by an instructor-led demonstration (IBD). The demonstration presented to both groups focused on chest compression-only resuscitation (COLS). First, the researchers assessed the participants' skills by testing their ability to correctly perform the intervention protocol and chest compressions, as well as their speed of intervention. They then assessed their perception of the quality of the training methodology using a qualitative questionnaire.

Encouraging results

In the performance evaluation, participants in the VBD group outperformed those in the IBD group with regard to the initial stages of the intervention protocol. Specifically, 95.2% of participants in the VBD group correctly secured the scene and 97.6% called for help. In comparison, these two steps were carried out correctly by 76.1% of participants in the IBD group. Participants in the VBD group also performed slightly better in terms of speed of intervention. The two groups achieved very similar results for the other elements assessed and for overall performance.

In terms of qualitative assessment, participants in the VBD group showed greater confidence in their ability to handle a real-life situation, as the video enabled them to see that rapid intervention could save a life. As a result, they were more stimulated and established an emotional connection that participants in the IBD group were unable to develop.

In conclusion

The study demonstrated that learning CPR using video demonstrations can be a good alternative to the traditional instructor-led format. It is an accessible option that could enable a larger number of people to be trained. Having been established in this study as a valid educational strategy, this solution can help overcome certain barriers to the wider dissemination of CPR learning, such as illiteracy and the shortage of healthcare professionals. Finally, as an organization specializing in fully online CPR and first aid training, for Académie Saint-Bernard this type of approach opens the door to improving the teaching methods offered on our platform. In our view, this study also demonstrates the benefits of self-directed learning made possible by the development of multimedia tools such as those used on our learning platform.


Written by Alexandre Grenier, Founder of Académie Saint-Bernard, and Emilie Bedard, Communications Manager


Abbreviation of "Video-Based Demonstration". In French, the term means "Video-Based Demonstration". It's a training method that uses videos to convey the concepts being taught.


Abbreviation of "Instructor-Based Demonstration". In French, the term means "Instructor-Based Demonstration". This is a training method that uses a qualified instructor to convey the concepts taught.


Compression Only Life Support. In French, the term means "Chest Compression Only Resuscitation". This is a CPR method consisting of continuous chest compressions without insufflation.


AHA. 2005. "Part 4: Adult Basic Life Support. Circulation. Vol. 112, no. 24, suppl, IV-12 to IV-18. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.166552

AHA. 2005. "Part 4: Adult Basic Life Support. Circulation. Vol. 112, no. 24, suppl, IV-12 to IV-18. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.166552