Background: Existing literature on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training focuses on the knowledge and skill components while the attitudinal component is rarely addressed. There is a need to explore how peer interaction, learning atmosphere, and communication influence learning effectiveness during CPR training. Therefore, this study’s objective was to evaluate how a senior student (near peer) sharing their real-life experience of performing CPR would influence medical students’ learning and readiness to perform CPR. Methods: The present study involved 250 newly enrolled undergraduate medical students. The Solomon’s four-group study design was used to evaluate the influence of both pretesting and peer interaction. Students belonging to two groups initially completed a pre-training knowledge test (pretest) and a questionnaire on readiness to perform CPR. Students from all four groups then participated in instructor-led hands-on skills training, after which the two intervention groups interacted with their senior, who shared their life experiences of performing CPR. Finally, all four groups underwent skills evaluation, immediate and delayed post-tests, and completed a questionnaire to assess readiness to perform CPR. The students also provided their feedback on the experience of interacting with a peer during the training. Results: Post-test scores were significantly higher than pretest scores (Kruskal–Wallis test, p < 0.05). Scores were significantly higher in pretested intervention groups than in the non-pretested non-intervention group (p < 0.05). Delayed post-test scores were slightly but not significantly lower than the immediate post-test scores with no significant difference observed in the scores among the groups. The pretested groups showed more readiness to perform CPR and the pretested intervention group were least concerned about acquiring infection during CPR. Students in all groups were confident of performing chest compressions correctly, and found it inspiring and motivating listening to and discussing real-life experiences with a near peer. Conclusions: Hearing from peers about real-life CPR experience during CPR training sessions significantly impacted learning, enhanced student motivation to learn and may be an effective strategy to consider in routine CPR training. However, the positive effects of pretesting and peer interaction on knowledge were not sustained, highlighting a need for repeat training.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes