Background/Objectives: Fever phobia is a phenomenon that still exists among parents and healthcare providers, although the beneficial effects of fever in fighting infections have been known for decades. In this study, we sought to examine the attitudes of parents and healthcare providers on the use of antipyretics in hospitalized children. Methods: Eligible subjects included: (1) pediatric residents, (2) nurses, and (3) primary caretakers of children ages 0-60 months hospitalized for infectious causes of fever. These subjects completed group-specific, multi-item questionnaires via Survey Monkey and viewed a 10-minute educational presentation. Pre- and post- intervention comparisons of median temperature thresholds were performed using the Wilcoxen Signed Rank test, and attitudes toward fever were compared using the McNemar test. In addition, 40 patient charts were reviewed to compare the overall usage of antipyretics for fever before and after the implementation of the educational tool. Results: 48 parents, 18 nurses, and 22 residents viewed the educational presentation and completed both surveys. The median temperature considered a treatable fever by parents increased from 100.0 to 100.4 (p= .002) after the intervention. Forty-seven percent of parents, 72% of nurses, and 0% of residents would awake a child from sleep to treat a fever prior to the intervention, compared to 40% of parents (p = 0.508), 39% of nurses (p= 0.07), and 0% of residents (p-value N/A) after the intervention, respectively. Fifty-four % of parents, 83% of nurses, and 91% of residents felt that fever was beneficial prior to the intervention, compared to 83% of parents (p= .001), 94% of nurses (p= 0.5), and 100% of residents (p-value N/A) after the intervention, respectively. Forty-one percent of parents, 11% of nurses, and 0% of residents would always treat a fever prior to the intervention, compared to 22% of parents (p= .035) and 0% of nurses and residents (p-value N/A) after the intervention. Sixty percent of parents felt that antipyretics could have harmful side effects prior to the intervention, compared to 95% after the intervention (p< .001). There was no reduction in the use of antipyretics by healthcare providers after the intervention based on a review of 40 patient charts. Conclusions: The parent group benefited the most from the educational tool in our study, specifically by learning that fever can be beneficial and does not always need to be treated, thus avoiding potentially harmful antipyretic side effects. The nursing survey results indicated some improvement in their knowledge after the educational intervention; however, there was no significant change in the residents’ answers before and after the intervention, suggesting that their knowledge about fever and antipyretics during is adequate. The nurses could benefit from more education on fever, given their essential roles in administration of antipyretics and parental education about fever.
Parental and Healthcare Providers Attitudes Regarding the Indications for Antipyretics Before and After Implementation of an Educational Tool
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Yu Ting, Michelle D. Stevenson, C. Tania Condurache; Parental and Healthcare Providers Attitudes Regarding the Indications for Antipyretics Before and After Implementation of an Educational Tool. Pediatrics January 2018; 141 (1_MeetingAbstract): 423. 10.1542/peds.141.1MA5.423
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