Research Activities, November-December 2013

Patients with advanced cancer who watch a video of CPR less likely to opt for CPR

Chronic Disease

Video decision aids are designed to help patients make more informed decisions by illuminating alternative treatments for serious conditions. A new study shows that patients with advanced cancer who viewed a video of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were less likely to opt for CPR than those who listened to a verbal narrative. 

CPR for patients with advanced cancer. Angelo E. Volandes, M.D., M.P.H., of Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues enrolled 150 patients with advanced cancer in the study. Eighty patients listened only to a verbal description of the CPR process and the likelihood of successful resuscitation. Seventy intervention patients listened to the verbal narrative and watched a 3-minute video of a patient on a ventilator and of CPR being performed on a simulated patient.

Among participants who heard only the verbal narrative, 48 percent opted for CPR if necessary, 51 percent wanted no CPR, and 1 patient was uncertain. Among participants who heard the verbal narrative and saw the video, 20 percent opted for CPR if needed, 79 percent opted for no CPR, and 1 person was uncertain. 

Mean knowledge scores were significantly higher for those viewing the video than for those who only heard the verbal narrative. The study was supported in part by AHRQ (HS18780). 

More details are in "Randomized controlled trial of a video decision support tool for cardiopulmonary resuscitation decision making in advanced cancer," by Dr. Volandes, Michael K. Paasche-Orlow, M.D., Susan L. Mitchell, M.D., and others in the Journal of Clinical Oncology 31(3), pp. 380-386, 2012.


Page last reviewed November 2013
Page originally created November 2013
Internet Citation: Patients with advanced cancer who watch a video of CPR less likely to opt for CPR. Content last reviewed November 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.