AED training and its impact on skill acquisition, retention and performance - A systematic review of alternative training methods.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


INTRODUCTION: The most popular method of training in basic life support and AED use remains instructor-led training courses. This systematic review examines the evidence for different training methods of basic life support providers (laypersons and healthcare providers) using standard instructor-led courses as comparators, to assess whether alternative method of training can lead to effective skill acquisition, skill retention and actual performance whilst using the AED. METHOD: OVID Medline (including Medline 1950-November 2010; EMBASE 1988-November 2010) was searched using "training" OR "teaching" OR "education" as text words. Search was then combined by using AND "AED" OR "automatic external defibrillator" as MESH words. Additionally, the American Heart Association Endnote library was searched with the terms "AED" and "automatic external defibrillator". Resuscitation journal was hand searched for relevant articles. RESULTS: 285 articles were identified. After duplicates were removed, 172 references were reviewed for relevance. From this 22 papers were scrutinized and 18 were included. All were manikin studies. Four LOE 1 studies, seven LOE 2 studies and three LOE 4 studies were supportive of alternative AED training methods. One LOE 2 study was neutral. Three LOE 1 studies provided opposing evidence. CONCLUSION: There is good evidence to support alternative methods of AED training including lay instructors, self directed learning and brief training. There is also evidence to support that no training is needed but even brief training can improve speed of shock delivery and electrode pad placement. Features of AED can have an impact on its use and further research should be directed to making devices user-friendly and robust to untrained layperson.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2011