People who learn hands-only CPR using a five-minute, CPR kiosk-based program performed CPR as well as those who attended a 30-minute, facilitator-led training session, according to new research published in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital. Almost 90% of people who experience a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die. Survival rates can triple when bystanders perform CPR.

The study examined three methods of teaching Hands-only CPR: facilitator-led classroom training, which typically lasts 30 minutes and enables participants to practice CPR with the assistance of an instructor; CPR kiosk-based learning, a five-minute, one-on-one training program that uses high-fidelity manikins that provide feedback on the quality of compressions; and a one-minute, public service announcement video.

The researchers found that people who watched the one-minute training video scored lower than the classroom group in total score, but there were no significant differences in total score between classroom and CPR kiosk participants. The video-only group performed lower on compression depth than the classroom group, while the kiosk group outperformed the classroom group on hand position score but scored lower on compression depth.

Participants in the kiosk session performed as well as those in the classroom session in total score and compression rate. The kiosk users had poorer performance on compression depth, which suggests that this could be an area for improvement in the kiosk’s instruction and feedback.

Because CPR is a psychomotor skill, one that combines mental processes with physical action, the more a person practices, the more they improve, said study co-author Lana M. Gent, PhD, Director of Product and Research Innovation at the Association. Based on the study results, kiosk-based CPR training, which is free for participants and located in high-traffic areas such as airports and shopping malls, is a good option for anyone who wishes to learn or reinforce Hands-Only CPR skills, she said.

“We have heard stories from people who have saved a person’s life after learning Hands-Only CPR at a kiosk, as well as stories from healthcare providers who use a kiosk to refresh their skills between flights at an airport, “Gent said. “Based on the findings from this study, we hope to have more kiosks placed in high-traffic locations.”

With founding support from Anthem Foundation, the American Heart Association rolled out the kiosk program in spring 2016. In addition to the Foundation’s continued financial support, the program has expanded with kiosks sponsored by local organizations installed in various cities. To date, the Association has placed 30 Hands-Only CPR training kiosks across the US, primarily in airports.