New research finds that cost, fear and a lack of information are barriers for minorities in urban communities to learn and perform CPR. The research can be found in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. In a small study, researchers interviewed 42 residents in Columbus, Ohio.
The majority of participants were age 30 or older, African-American and female. Participants attended six focus groups and were asked about their knowledge of and training in CPR. Almost half of the participants lived in economically struggling, high-crime neighborhoods, and two-thirds had an annual household income of less than $20,000.Researchers found that:
- Eighty-eight percent were familiar with CPR, but only 43 percent had taken a course within the previous three years.
- Money was the biggest barrier to learning CPR.
Participants didn't take a CPR course because of the costs of the class, childcare and transportation.
- Participants were afraid to perform CPR, particularly on children, and to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a stranger, unaware that Hands-Only™ CPR can be effective in saving a life.
- Participants lacked information about the importance of CPR and where to receive training. Information also wasn't available in other languages.
- Participants feared performing CPR on a stranger would threaten their personal safety (particularly in neighborhoods where violence was an issue), lead to problems with the police or put them at risk of being sued.
"Study participants' suggestions included:
- make CPR classes free or provide allowances for childcare, gift cards for food or bus tokens for transportation;
- combine CPR training with basic first aid training, offer certification or academic credit or promote CPR as a job skill to help residents advance their professional careers; and
- emphasize that CPR starts at home to save the lives of family members and loved ones.