Resuscitation training in developing countries: A systematic review

Peter A. Meaney*, Alexis A. Topjian, Heather K. Chandler, Martin Botha, Jasmeet Soar, Robert A. Berg, Vinay M. Nadkarni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey (Academic Journal)peer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate whether the inclusion of any specific resuscitation training educational strategy in developing countries improves outcomes. Methods: As part of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation evidence evaluation process, a systematic review of the literature was conducted. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews; Medline; Google Scholar and EmBASE were searched using multiple search strategies. Results: Forty-four papers were relevant to review, including 38 studies that provided support for the use of resuscitation training programs in developing countries. All studies that examined self-efficacy (15 studies) and student satisfaction (8 studies) reported improvement. There was no consistent testing method for educational outcomes across studies and few studies examined both educational outcomes and patient outcome (1 of 15 self-efficacy, 0 of 18 cognitive knowledge, 0 of 8 psychomotor skills, 0 of 5 simulated operational performance). Fourteen of 15 studies that examined patient survival were either newborn or trauma resuscitation, 1 adult resuscitation, and none were in pediatric resuscitation. Increased patient survival after resuscitation training was variable, with an absolute risk reduction that ranged from 0% to 34%. Conclusions: Resuscitation training in developing countries was well received and viewed as valuable training by the students and local counterparts. Important student, training environment characteristics, educational outcomes and patient outcomes were inconsistently defined and reported. Institution of training in trauma and newborn resuscitation in developing countries has significantly reduced mortality, but this has not been demonstrated with other training programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1462-1472
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: PAM and VMN receive unrestricted research grant support from the Laerdal Foundation for Acute Medicine (Norway). AAT and VMN receive institutional grant/research support from the National Institute of Health Sciences (USA) and VMN receives institutional grant/research support Agency for Health Research and Quality (USA).

Funding Information:
The ILCOR includes eight international resuscitation organizations: the American Heart Association (AHA), European Resuscitation Council (ERC), Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC), Resuscitation Council of Asia (RCA), Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa (RCSA), the Australia and New Zealand Council on Resuscitation (ANZCOR), and the InterAmerican Heart Foundation (IAHF).

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Clinical competence
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Developing countries
  • Emergency training
  • Resuscitation education

Cite this