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To resuscitate or not to resuscitate: a logistic regression analysis of physician-related variables influencing the decision
  1. Sharon Einav1,
  2. Gady Alon1,
  3. Nechama Kaufman1,
  4. Rony Braunstein2,
  5. Sara Carmel3,
  6. Joseph Varon4,
  7. Moshe Hersch1
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, Hebrew University School of Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel
  2. 2Centre for Safety and Quality, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel
  3. 3Centre for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging and Department of Sociology of Health, Ben-Gurion University, Be'er Sheva, Israel
  4. 4University of Texas Health Science Center and University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sharon Einav, Intensive Care Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, POB 3235, Jerusalem 91031, Israel; einav_s{at}


Objective To determine whether variables in physicians' backgrounds influenced their decision to forego resuscitating a patient they did not previously know.

Methods Questionnaire survey of a convenience sample of 204 physicians working in the departments of internal medicine, anaesthesiology and cardiology in 11 hospitals in Israel.

Results Twenty per cent of the participants had elected to forego resuscitating a patient they did not previously know without additional consultation. Physicians who had more frequently elected to forego resuscitation had practised medicine for more than 5 years (p=0.013), estimated the number of resuscitations they had performed as being higher (p=0.009), and perceived their experience in resuscitation as sufficient (p=0.001). The variable that predicted the outcome of always performing resuscitation in the logistic regression model was less than 5 years of experience in medicine (OR 0.227, 95% CI 0.065 to 0.793; p=0.02).

Conclusion Physicians' level of experience may affect the probability of a patient's receiving resuscitation, whereas the physicians' personal beliefs and values did not seem to affect this outcome.

  • Cardiopulmonary arrest
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • effectiveness
  • ethics
  • quality of health care
  • resuscitation
  • resuscitation research

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Board, Hebrew University Medical Centre.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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