DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.290 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 290: Initial Engagement in a Novel Online Support Community for Cardiac Arrest Survivors, Co-Survivors, Lay Rescuers, and Advocates

Mary M Newman, Alex Presciutti, Joe Farrell, Joshua Lupton, Stephen Sanko, Sarah Perman
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Background: Cardiac arrest survivors often experience physical, cognitive, emotional, and social challenges that can linger for years. Co-survivors and lay rescuers can also experience distress. In 2023, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation (SCAF) created the Cardiac Arrest Survivor Alliance™ (CASA), an online community to support these individuals. CASA offers evidence-based information about common challenges post-arrest, easy connection with peers, access to experts, and pathways to further clinical support. To measure early dissemination, we examined CASA’s community engagement and growth through the first 5 months.

Methods: We built CASA using Mighty Networks (MN), assembled a leadership team including researchers and clinicians with expertise in post-resuscitation quality of life, and launched the community in mid-January 2023. We recruited members through SCAF’s Survivor Network and outreach via its website, newsletters, and social media. We obtained analytic reports to evaluate engagement and growth of CASA during the first 5 months of operation.

Results: By mid-June 2023, there were 868 members from the U.S. and 21 other countries. Based on preliminary data, approximately 75% of members are survivors. Initial growth resulted from SCAF outreach and is continuing organically through internet searches and member outreach. During the 5-month period, there were: 6,829 contributions (sum of actions taken by hosts, moderators and members including posts, “cheers,” comments, chat messages, direct [private] messages [DMs], and RSVPs), 858 active members (total members who visited during the 5-month period), and 376 unique members providing contributions. Members are not only engaging publicly, but also privately; 344 members (40%) have sent 1,944 DMs. MN considers communities to be successful if 15% or more members send DMs. CASA also provides monthly webinars with guided discussions led by experts. Attendance has ranged from 22 to 47 participants.

Conclusion: In the 5 months since its launch, the CASA community is engaged and continually growing. Future plans include providing additional evidence-based content, outreach to hospitals and targeted healthcare professionals, and collaboration with program partners to grow the CASA community.

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