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September 1986

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Training: Consequences for Family Members of High-Risk Cardiac Patients

Author Affiliations

From the School of Nursing (Dr Dracup), the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine (Dr Guzy), and the Department of Psychology (Dr Taylor), UCLA; and the Division of Cardiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston (Ms Barry).

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(9):1757-1761. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360210139020

• A prospective, controlled trial was conducted to document the psychological risks and benefits of teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques to family members of patients at high risk for a sudden death event. Clinical outcomes for the high-risk patients were also measured. Cardiac patients (n = 65) and their family members (n = 69) were randomized to one of three groups: CPR training, risk factor education, and control. Patients did not attend either intervention group. No adverse psychological effects for family members were documented. The patients in the CPR group, however, were more anxious at three months' follow-up than patients in either the educational or control groups. Patients in both CPR and risk factor education groups reported poorer adjustment to illness at six months' follow-up than did control patients. These results suggest that CPR training for family members may have an adverse psychological effect on high-risk cardiac patients.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:1757-1761)

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