Study published: Emotional response among lay responders alerted to suspected cardiac arrests

2022-01-04

A study recently published in the scientific journal Resuscitation has investigated emotional response, posttraumatic stress, and wellbeing among lay responders who have been alerted to suspected cardiac arrests by a smartphone application.

Photo of two persons who are trained in cpr.

Differences in emotional response
The study explored differences in emotional response between three groups: (1) lay responders who had been alerted to and reached a suspected cardiac arrest, (2) lay responders who had been alerted to but not reached a suspected cardiac arrest, and (3) a control group consisting of lay responders who had not been alerted to any cardiac arrest situation. The study participants reported their degree of ‘alertness’ and ‘pleasentness’ at two time points: 90 minutes after an incident and 4-6 weeks after an incident.

It turned out that both groups of lay responders who had been alerted to a suspected cardiac arrest reported an elevated ‘alertness’ and slightly lower ‘pleasantness’ 90 minutes after an incident, compared to the control group that had not been alerted. The difference in ‘alertness’ remained between the groups 4-6 weeks after an incident, while the difference in ‘pleasantness’ was insignificant.

The study participants also reported their level of experienced posttraumatic stress and wellbeing 4-6 weeks after an incident. The differences between the groups turned out to be insignificant in both these aspects.

Photo of Erik Olsson
Erik Olsson, psychologist and Associate Professor
in Clinical Psychology.

Associate Professor Erik Olsson is one of the authors of the study: 

– This study indicates that lay responders who are alerted to suspected cardiac arrests via a smartphone app do not seem to suffer psychologically from the incident. We know that this type of voluntary lifesaving actions where the nearest lay responder is alerted via a mobile phone saves lives. Now we also know that this does not seem to have any negative emotional consequences for the lay responders.

Read the full paper “Wellbeing, emotional response and stress among lay responders dispatched to suspected out-of-hospital cardiac arrests”. It is written by Ellinor Berglund, Erik Olsson, Martin Jonsson, Leif Svensson, Jacob Hollenberg, Andreas Claesson, Per Nordberg, Peter Lundgren, Åsa Högstedt, and Mattias Ringh.

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Last modified: 2022-05-25