Evaluation of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Parents Presenting to a Hospital Emergency Department with a Complaint of Fever in a Child

Barutcu A., Barutcu S.

SIGNA VITAE, vol.16, no.1, pp.123-129, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.22514/sv.2020.16.0016
  • Journal Name: SIGNA VITAE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.123-129
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: This study aimed to investigate the knowledge, attitudes and practices of parents presenting to a hospital emergency department with a complaint of fever in a child. Methods: A total of 504 pediatric admissions for fever were included in this study. A 21-item questionnaire form was applied to caregivers via face-to-face interview method. Results: Overall, 37.1% of the mothers were primary school graduates and 81.5% were housewives. Only 11.7% of parents reported that they use a thermometer in measuring fever, 41.3% reported that they check fever with less than 30-min intervals and 85.7% stated the risk of seizure as the most fearful condition related to high fever. Mothers with higher vs. lower educational level were more likely to use thermometer in fever measurement (p = 0.046), use a 30-min interval between subsequent fever measurements (p = 0.041), and use antipyretic drugs (p = 0.045) rather than warm shower (p = 0.027) for the management of fever. Fathers with higher vs. lower educational level were more likely to accompany their wife in hospital admission (p = 0.008), to use thermometer in fever measurement (p = 0.045), use a 30-min interval between subsequent fever measurements (p = 0.002) and use antipyretic drugs (p < 0.001) rather than warm shower (p = 0.003) or emergency admission (p = 0.003) in the management of fever. Conclusion: In conclusion, our findings indicate a need for improved practice among caregivers regarding the approach to febrile child in terms of objective measurement and better management of high fever. Given the direct association of educational attainment with caregivers' approach to febrile child, healthcare professionals should be able to carry out more effective training activities to improve the approach of parents to a febrile child to prevent inappropriate practices by reducing the unnecessary fear and to ensure better practice regarding identification, interpretation and management of fever in a child.