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(Circulation. 2007;116:II_942.)

Best Original Resuscitation Science (Moderated Poster Session II and Reception)

Abstract 91: Written Evaluation in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support is not a Predictor for Cardiac Arrest Performance

David L Rodgers1; Rudy D Pauley1; Barbara R McKee2; David J Matics2; Louis. E Robinson2

1 Marshall Univ, South Charleston, WV
2 CAMC Health Education and Rsch Institute, Charleston, WV

Objectives: Successful completion of American Heart Association (AHA) Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) requires passing both a written cognitive knowledge evaluation and a practical evaluation that tests psychomotor skills, cognitive knowledge, and affective behaviors such as leadership and team skills. Previous evidence has indicated little to no correlation between written and practical skills in Basic Life Support courses. There is limited data on the correlation between written and practical evaluations in advanced level courses or on the ability of the written test to predict performance following an ACLS course.

Methods: 34 senior nursing students from four nursing programs participated in ACLS. Each participant completed the written and practical evaluations. Immediately after completing the course, all participants served as team leader for a simulated cardiac arrest event that was video recorded. A panel of expert ACLS instructors who did not participate as instructors in the ACLS course reviewed each video and independently scored team leaders’ performances.

Results: There was no significant correlation between written evaluation scores and practical skills performance as rated by the expert instructor panel. Paired samples correlation was .219 (p = .213).

Conclusions: The ACLS written evaluation was not a reliable predictor of participant success in managing a simulated cardiac arrest event immediately following an ACLS course. The ACLS performance evaluation tests a narrow portion of ACLS course while the ACLS written evaluation tests a much broader spectrum of course content. Both work in concert to define participant knowledge and neither should be used exclusively to determine participant competence.