Impact of bystander-focused public health interventions on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and survival: a cohort study.



Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) increases an individual's chance of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), but the frequency of bystander CPR is low in many communities. We aimed to assess the cumulative effect of CPR-targeted public health interventions in Singapore, which were incrementally introduced between 2012 and 2016.


We did a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study of adult, non-traumatic OHCAs, through the Singapore registry. National interventions introduced during this time included emergency services interventions, as well as dispatch-assisted CPR (introduced on July 1, 2012), a training programme for CPR and automated external defibrillators (April 1, 2014), and a first responder mobile application (myResponder; April 17, 2015). Using multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression, we modelled the likelihood of receiving bystander CPR with the increasing number of interventions, accounting for year as a random effect.


The Singapore registry contained 11 465 OHCA events between Jan 1, 2011, and Dec 31, 2016. Paediatric arrests, arrests witnessed by emergency medical services, and healthcare-facility arrests were excluded, and 6788 events were analysed. Bystander CPR was administered in 3248 (48%) of 6788 events. Compared with no intervention, likelihood of bystander CPR was not significantly altered by the addition of emergency medical services interventions (odds ratio [OR] 1·33 [95% CI 0·98-1·79]; p=0·065), but increased with implementation of dispatch-assisted CPR (3·72 [2·84-4·88]; p<0·0001), with addition of the CPR and automated external defibrillator training programme (6·16 [4·66-8·14]; p<0·0001), and with addition of the myResponder application (7·66 [5·85-10·03]; p<0·0001). Survival to hospital discharge increased after the addition of all interventions, compared with no intervention (OR 3·10 [95% CI 1·53-6·26]; p<0·0001).


National bystander-focused public health interventions were associated with an increased likelihood of bystander CPR, and an increased survival to hospital discharge. Understanding the combined impact of public health interventions might improve strategies to increase the likelihood of bystander CPR, and inform targeted initiatives to improve survival from OHCA.


National Medical Research Council, Clinician Scientist Award, Singapore and Ministry of Health, Health Services Research Grant, Singapore.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Blewer, Audrey L, Andrew Fu Wah Ho, Nur Shahidah, Alexander Elgin White, Pin Pin Pek, Yih Yng Ng, Desmond Renhao Mao, Ling Tiah, et al. (2020). Impact of bystander-focused public health interventions on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and survival: a cohort study. The Lancet. Public health, 5(8). pp. e428–e436. 10.1016/s2468-2667(20)30140-7 Retrieved from

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Audrey L Blewer

Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health

Audrey L. Blewer, PhD, MPH is an epidemiologist and resuscitation scientist in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Department of Population Health Sciences within Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Blewer completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania from the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics and her Master of Public Health in Social in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Florida.

Dr. Blewer has published in several noteworthy journals such as Circulation, Lancet Public Health, Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, and Critical Care Medicine. She is recognized in the field of resuscitation science nationally and internationally. Dr. Blewer is contributing to the upcoming American Heart Association Guidelines writing group for Resuscitation Education and serves on the Editorial Board for the journal Resuscitation Plus. Dr. Blewer works on interdisciplinary research projects at both Duke and Duke-NUS Medical Center


Hayden Barry Bosworth

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Dr. Bosworth is a health services researcher and Deputy Director of the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT)  at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is also Vice Chair of Education and Professor of Population Health Sciences. He is also a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Nursing at Duke University Medical Center and Adjunct Professor in Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests comprise three overarching areas of research: 1) clinical research that provides knowledge for improving patients’ treatment adherence and self-management in chronic care; 2) translation research to improve access to quality of care; and 3) eliminate health care disparities. 

Dr. Bosworth is the recipient of an American Heart Association established investigator award, the 2013 VA Undersecretary Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research (The annual award is the highest honor for VA health services researchers), and a VA Senior Career Scientist Award. In terms of self-management, Dr. Bosworth has expertise developing interventions to improve health behaviors related to hypertension, coronary artery disease, and depression, and has been developing and implementing tailored patient interventions to reduce the burden of other chronic diseases. These trials focus on motivating individuals to initiate health behaviors and sustaining them long term and use members of the healthcare team, particularly pharmacists and nurses. He has been the Principal Investigator of over 30 trials resulting in over 400 peer reviewed publications and four books. This work has been or is being implemented in multiple arenas including Medicaid of North Carolina, private payers, The United Kingdom National Health System Direct, Kaiser Health care system, and the Veterans Affairs.

Areas of Expertise: Health Behavior, Health Services Research, Implementation Science, Health Measurement, and Health Policy

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