Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070398
Title: Beliefs, practices and health care seeking behavior of parents regarding fever in children
Authors: Urbane, Urzula Nora
Likopa, Zane
Gardovska, Dace
Pavare, Jana
Department of Paediatrics
Keywords: Antipyretics;Fever in children;Fever phobia;Healthcare-seeking behavior;Parental beliefs;Medicine(all);3.2 Clinical medicine;1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Urbane , U N , Likopa , Z , Gardovska , D & Pavare , J 2019 , ' Beliefs, practices and health care seeking behavior of parents regarding fever in children ' , Medicina (Lithuania) , vol. 55 , no. 7 , 398 . https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070398
Abstract: Background and objectives: Fever in children is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical attention. Parents often have misconceptions about the effects to fever, which leads to inappropriate use of medication and nonurgent visits to emergency departments (ED). The aim of this study was to clarify the beliefs on the effects and management of fever and to identify healthcare seeking patterns among parents of febrile children in Latvia. Materials and Methods: Parents and legal guardians of children attending ED with febrile illness were included in the study. Participants were recruited in Children’s Clinical University Hospital (CCUH) in Riga, and in six regional hospitals in Latvia. Data on beliefs about fever, administration of antipyretics, healthcare-seeking behavior, and experience in communication with health care workers were collected via questionnaire. Results: In total, 355 participants were enrolled: 199 in CCUH and 156 in regional hospitals; 59.2% of participants considered fever itself as indicative of serious illness and 92.8% believed it could raise the child’s body temperature up to a dangerous level. Antipyretics were usually administered at median temperature of 38.0 °C, and the median temperature believed to be dangerous was 39.7 °C; 56.7% of parents usually contacted a doctor within the first 24 h of the illness. Parents who believed that lower temperatures are dangerous to a child were more likely to contact a doctor earlier and out-of-hours; 60.1% of participants had contacted their family doctor prior their visit to ED. Parental evaluation of satisfaction with the information and reassurance provided by the doctors at the hospital was higher than of that provided by their family doctor; 68.2% of participants felt safer when their febrile children were treated at the hospital. Conclusions: Fever itself was regarded as indicative of serious illness and potentially dangerous to the child’s life. These misconceptions lead to inappropriate administration of antipyretics and early-seeking of medical attention, even out-of-hours. Hospital environment was viewed as safer and more reassuring when dealing with febrile illness in children. More emphasis must be placed on parental education on proper management of fever, especially in primary care.
Description: Funding Information: Acknowledgments: The authors thank all the data collectors, clinicians and parents who participated in the study. This research project was coordinated by State Research programme “BIOMEDICINE”, Project No. 5.6.2. “Research on acute and chronic diseases in children of wide age range to develop diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms to reduce mortality, prolong survival and improve quality of life”. Publisher Copyright: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070398
ISSN: 1010-660X
Appears in Collections:Research outputs from Pure / Zinātniskās darbības rezultāti no ZDIS Pure

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