Effect of Basic Prehospital Trauma Life Support Program on Cognitive and Trauma Management Skills
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We tested the effectiveness of a basic prehospital trauma life support (PHTLS) program by assessing cognitive performance and trauma management skills among prehospital trauma personnel. Fourteen subjects who completed a standard PHTLS course (group I) were compared to a matched group not completing a PHTLS program (group II). Cognitive performance was assessed on 50-item multiple choice examinations, and trauma skills management was assessed with four simulated trauma patients. Pre-PHTLS multiple choice questionnaire scores were similar (45.8 ± 9.4% vs. 48.8 ± 8.9% for groups I and II, respectively), but the post-PHTLS scores were higher in group I (80.4 ± 5.9%) than in group II (52.6 ± 4.9%). Pre-PHTLS simulated trauma patient performance scores (standardized to a maximum total of 20 for each station) were similar at all four stations for both groups, ranging from 7.9 to 10.4. The post-PHTLS scores were statistically significantly higher at all four stations for group I (range 16.0–19.0) compared to those for group II (range 8.0–11.1). The overall mean pre-PHTLS score for all four stations was 8.3 ± 2.1 for group I and 8.8 ± 2.0 (NS) for group II; the group I post-PHTLS mean score for the four stations was 17.1 ± 2.7 ( p < 0.05) compared to 9.1 ± 2.3 for group II. Pre-PHTLS Adherence to Priority scores on a scale of 1 to 7 were similar (1.1 ± 0.9 for group I and 1.2 ± 1.0 for group II). Post-PHTLS group I Priority scores increased to 5.9 ± 1.1. Group II (1.1 ± 1.0) did not improve their post-PHTLS scores. The pre-PHTLS Organized Approach scores in the simulated trauma patients on a scale of 1 to 5 were 2.1 ± 1.0 for group I and 1.9 ± 1.2 for group II (NS) compared to 4.2 ± 0.9 ( p < 0.05) in group I and 2.0 ± 0.8 in group II after PHTLS. This study demonstrates improved cognitive and trauma management skills performance among prehospital paramedical personnel who complete the basic PHTLS program.
KeywordsTrauma Patient Multiple Choice Question Objective Structure Clinical Examination Advance Trauma Life Support Priority Score
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