Emotions in telephone calls to emergency medical services involving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A scoping review

Hanh Ngo, Tanya Birnie, Judith Finn, Stephen Ball, Nirukshi Perera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The purpose of this scoping review was to identify and synthesise existing research evidence on emotions in the context of emergency phone calls to emergency medical services (EMS) involving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). The specific objectives were to identify studies that (1) described emotions during emergency OHCA calls; (2) specified an instrument or method for measuring/assessing emotions; and (3) examined the relationship between emotions and call outcomes or patient outcomes. Methods/Data sources: Five databases were searched on 18 November 2021: Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Review Database. Included studies required the following three concepts to be addressed: emotions in the context of EMS calls that involved OHCA. Calls also needed to be made by a ‘second-party’ caller; and each study needed to address at least one of the three specific objectives, as outlined above. The review was conducted in accordance with the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines for evidence synthesis for scoping reviews. Results: Thirteen eligible studies were included for synthesis. All studies met Objective 1; six studies met Objective 2; and seven met Objective 3. One study reported patient fatality due to heightened emotions and ensuing ineffective communications between callers and call-takers. Conclusion: The review highlights a significant gap in the evidence base of emotions in emergency OHCA-related calls, and the need for a more comprehensive and effective method in assessing and measuring emotions in this context. Relationships between emotions (their expressions and perceptions) and call outcomes (including patient outcomes) also need more rigorous investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100264
JournalResuscitation Plus
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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