Immediate psychological impact on citizen responders dispatched through a mobile application to out-of-hospital cardiac arrests

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Background: Activating citizen responders may increase survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) but could induce significant psychological impact on the citizen responders. We examined psychological impact among citizen responders within the first days following resuscitation attempt.

Methods and Results: A mobile phone application to activate citizen responders to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was implemented in the Capital Region of Denmark. All dispatched citizen responders (September 2017 to May 2019) received a survey 90 minutes after an alarm, including self-rating of perceived psychological impact on a scale of 1-4. Of 5,395 included citizen responders, most (88.6%) completed the survey within 24 hours. The majority reported no psychological impact (68.6%), whereas 24.7%, 5.5% and 1.2% reported low, moderate, or severe impact, respectively. Severe impact was more commonly reported in the following groups: No CPR training (3.8% vs 1.2%, p = 0.02), age < 30 years (2.0% vs 0.9%, p < 0.001), female sex (1.8% vs 0.7%, p < 0.001), provided CPR (2.7% vs 1.0%, p < 0.001), and arrived prior to the emergency medical services (EMS) (2.8% vs 0.7%, p < 0.001) compared to no to moderate impact. Chi square test, Mann-Whitney U test, Fischer's exact test and a logistic regression model were used to assess dierences in psychological impact across groups.

Conclusion: Very few citizen responders reported severe psychological impact. Lack of prior CPR training, younger age, female sex, performing CPR and arrival prior to the EMS were associated with greater psychological impact. Though very few citizen responders reported severe impact, the possibility of professional debriefing should be considered in citizen responder programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100155
JournalResuscitation Plus
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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