Lifesaving skills training in schools – A qualitative study to explore students, teachers, and parent’s perceived opportunities and challenges

Natasha Shaukat, Daniyal Mansoor Ali, Mehtab Jaffer, Zeerak Jarrar, Naela Ashraf, Sheza Hassan, Ali Azim Daudpota, Muskaan Abdul Qadir, Aly Hamza Khowaja, Junaid Razzak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this study is to explore the perception of teachers, parents and students’ regarding implementation of a school-based lifesaving skills program and help predict potential barriers and solutions. Methods: This qualitative exploratory study was conducted in Karachi, Pakistan, from December 2020- to October 2021. We included students, teachers, and parents of secondary (grades VIII, IX, and X) and higher secondary level students (grades XI and XII) in Karachi, Pakistan's public and private schools and colleges. We selected one public, two semi-private, and two private schools. We recruited students, teachers, and parents through convenience sampling. We conducted fifteen focus group discussions (FGDs) with the students, six FGDs with the teachers, and eighteen in-depth interviews (IDIs) with parents. We transcribed the data from audio recordings and translated it into the English language. Finally, we manually analyzed the data using thematic analyses. Results: This study found that bystanders' main barriers to performing lifesaving skills are lack of knowledge, fear of legal involvement, fear of hurting the patient by incorrect technique, lack of empathy among community stakeholders, and gender bias. However, the participants had a positive and supportive attitude toward implementing lifesaving skills training in schools. They suggested starting student training in the early teenage years, preferred medical staff as trainers, and suggested frequent small sessions in English/Urdu both or Urdu language and training via theory and practical hands-on drills. Furthermore, the training was proposed to be integrated into the school curriculum to make it sustainable. Finally, the government needs to support the program and make the legal environment more conducive for bystanders. Conclusion: This study identified the significant barriers to performing lifesaving skills in an emergency in a low- and middle-income country (LMIC). The participants supported implementing a national lifesaving skills program in schools and colleges. However, the participants expressed that support is needed by the government for sustainability, integrating lifesaving skills into the school curriculum, providing legal support to the bystanders, and creating awareness among the general public.

Original languageEnglish
Article number400
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Bystander intervention
  • Education
  • Lifesaving skills
  • Qualitative research
  • School Children


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