Young adults’ perception of mandatory CPR training in Australian high schools: a qualitative investigation

Tiana Andrews, Luke Price, Brennen Mills, Lisa Holmes



Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be performed by any member of the public who witnesses a cardiac arrest and has the knowledge, training and skills to perform it. Even though bystander CPR has been shown to greatly improve the victim’s chance of survival, its training and performance rates are alarmingly low.


One potentially effective intervention to tackle this issue is to implement mandatory CPR training programs in high schools. We undertook in-depth qualitative interviews with 28 recent Australian high school graduates. The interviews were transcribed and then analysed, with participants’ answers used to draw conclusions on the acceptability of mandatory CPR high school training.


Results suggested those that had undertaken basic first aid training in high school would be more open and confident to perform bystander CPR. Among those who had not undertaken training, cost and access were identified as the key barriers. Regardless of whether participants had or had not previously undertaken training, they understood the importance of CPR for the treatment of cardiac arrest victims.


Among our sample, there was overwhelming support for the concept of mandatory CPR training being implemented in high schools. Should such a program be applied, there is the potential for this to have an impact on bystander CPR provision, and hence cardiac arrest survival rates, within the wider Australian community.


High school CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; bystander intervention, CPR training uptake; qualitative interviews

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