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Exploring the experience of children who have provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the impact of CPR training

A cardiac arrest is when someone’s heart stops and they collapse. People who are there at the time (lay responders) can improve the person’s chance of survival, by calling an ambulance, starting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using a heart restarter (defibrillator). CPR is now taught to students aged 11-18 in UK schools. This should help increase the number of people who know how to help.

Research with adults indicates that providing CPR is emotionally challenging for lay responders and some require formal psychological support. Adults report that they did not feel adequately prepared for this impact by CPR training.

There is no research exploring children and young people’s experiences of being a lay responder. Exposure to traumatic events during childhood can have lifelong impacts, but effective support afterwards can decrease psychological harm, resulting in long-term benefits and a reduction in healthcare service use.

Our research study involves interviewing young people (11-23 years-old) in England about their experiences of helping with a resuscitation attempt, support following it and views of any CPR training they had. We will use what we learn to inform CPR training and influence support provision for young people who are involved in providing CPR.


The Child CPR Study aims to generate new knowledge about the experiences and needs of children and young people who are involved in providing CPR in the community. The overall objectives are to:

  • Explore the impact on their emotional/psychological wellbeing and relationships;
  • Explore the support (formal and informal) they seek and/or receive after providing resuscitation;
  • Explore the impact of CPR training on their experience of resuscitating someone and willingness to help in a future resuscitation attempt.

Findings will be used to inform and optimise CPR training for this age group and the support offered after involvement in a resuscitation attempt. It may also highlight important areas for further investigation in this under-researched area.


Researchers at King’s College London will ask young people who have provided CPR in a real-life emergency about what this was like for them. We will learn from the experiences and ideas they share with us, and use this to help improve CPR training and support.

Get involved

You might be able to help us with this research. The information leaflets below explain more about this research and what will happen if you agree to take part. Please get in touch with the research team to find out more if:

  • You are a young person who has provided CPR to someone having a cardiac arrest, or
  • You are a parent of a young person who has had this experience.

Information leaflets

For young people who are 11-15 years old:

Please note, if you are less than 16 years old, we will need to speak with your parent first. We will need their permission before we can speak with you.

For young people 16-23 years-old:

Project status: Starting

Principal Investigator


Funding Body: NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)

Amount: £158,071.00

Period: September 2023 - March 2025