Prompt prehospital care is essential for improving outcomes of road crash victims; however, this service is sub-optimal in developing countries because Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are not readily available. Training of lay responders in first aid has been suggested as a means of filling this gap in settings with inadequate EMS. This study was conducted to determine the effect of first aid training on the first aid knowledge and skills of commercial drivers.
A before-and-after study was conducted among 128 commercial drivers (62 intervention and 66 controls) selected by multi-stage sampling. Drivers’ first aid knowledge and skills were assessed at baseline, immediate, and three months post-intervention. The intervention involved a 2-day training session in first aid. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to test for differences in respondents’ pre- and post-intervention scores over the three assessment points.
Mean first aid knowledge scores for intervention drivers were 48.9% (SD=12.0), 57.8% (SD=11.2), and 59.2% (SD=9.0) at baseline, immediate, and three months post-intervention. Corresponding scores for the controls were 48.3% (SD=12.8), 39.2% (SD=15.3), and 46.8% (SD=15.3). Mean first aid skill scores for intervention drivers were 17.5% (SD=3.8), 80.7% (SD=8.3), and 72.3% (SD=16.8). Scores for control drivers were 16.5% (SD=4.5), 16.3% (SD=4.7), and 20.4% (SD=9.1), respectively. Repeated measures ANOVA showed significant differences in first aid knowledge and skills scores over the three phases. Independent t-test revealed significant differences in scores between the intervention and control groups post-intervention.
The training led to significant improvement in first aid knowledge and skills of intervention drivers. This confirms that lay responders can be trained in provision of first aid. The slight drop in skills scores, which occurred three months post-intervention, highlights the need for periodic refresher trainings to be conducted for the drivers in order to maintain the knowledge and skills acquired.
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