Barriers to bystander CPR in deprived communities: findings from a qualitative study

Fiona Dobbie, Isabelle Uny, Douglas Eadie, Edward A S Duncan, Martine Stead, Linda Bauld, Kathryn Angus, Liz Hassled, MacInnes Lisa, Gareth Clegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study aim: Rates of out of hospital cardiac arrest are higher in deprived communities. Bystander Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (BCPR) can double the chance of survival but occurs less often in these communities in comparison to more affluent communities. People living in deprived communities are, therefore, doubly disadvantaged and there is limited evidence to explain why BCPR rates are lower. The aim of this paper is to examine the barriers to administering BCPR in deprived communities.
Method: Mixed method qualitative study with ten single sex focus groups (n=61) conducted in deprived communities across central Scotland and 18 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from the UK, Europe and the USA.
Results: Two key themes related to confidence and environmental factors were identified to summarise the perceived barriers to administering BCPR in deprived communities. Barriers related to confidence included: self-efficacy; knowledge and awareness of how, and when, to administer CPR; accessing CPR training; having previous experience of administering BCPR; who required CPR; and whether the bystander was physically fit to give CPR. Environmental barriers focused on the safety of the physical environment in which people lived, and fear of reprisal from gangs or the police.
Conclusions: Barriers to administering BCPR identified in the general population are relevant to people living in deprived communities but are exacerbated by a range of contextual, individual and environmental factors. A one-size-fits-all approach is not sufficient to promote ‘CPR readiness’ in deprived communities. Future approaches
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020


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