Introducing Basic Life Support using Virtual Reality to High School Students -Qualitative Pilot Study

by Hyojin Min

Coauthors: Caroline Andler MD, Cristian Abelairas-Gomez , Rebecca Barber, PhD, RN, Todd Chang, MD, Nino Fijacko, Laquanda T. Knowlin, MD, Deborah R. Liu, MD


High quality and engaging cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training of both health care professionals and members of the public is necessary to provide timely and effective CPR to ensure survival and minimize injuries. Virtual reality is a novel method to enhance the CPR engagement and training, moreover this study is also unique in its application of near-peer mentoring framework.
The purpose of this pilot qualitative study was to understand the acceptability and feasibility of using virtual reality (VR) technology to introduce basic life (BSL) support to high school students reinforced by the near-peer coaching.
Dyads of high school students underwent BSL training in CPR using VR experience reinforced by the near-peer mentoring model. Focus group interviews were performed followed by the intervention. The interview sessions were recorded and transcribed verbatim and analyzed. VR software data of scoring of five cycles of the chest compressions between the two participants were analyzed.
The overwhelming responses from the three dyads of high school students were positive acceptance of learning CPR using VR. Emerging themes from the analysis revealed barriers and facilitators into three major categories: 1) learning CPR content, 2) CPR learning modality, and 3) motivation to learn CPR which supported the underpinning theoretical framework of “intension focused” paradigm leading to acquiring skills needed to perform CPR and ultimately increasing the chances of bystander performing CPR.
This research highlights the potential for training up this unique population for increasing bystander effects using the novel VR technology coupled with near-peer mentoring method. Further research is warranted to measure the outcome of the knowledge attained and the intention to perform CPR by the high school students, who participate in CPR education using VR and near-peer mentoring method.