Anxiety in parents of young febrile children in a pediatric emergency department: why is it elevated?

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1999 Apr;38(4):219-26. doi: 10.1177/000992289903800403.


This study assessed anxiety levels of parents of young febrile children who presented to a pediatric emergency department (ED) with fever. One hundred and seventy parents completed a 90-item questionnaire. Anxiety was measured by use of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Parents were asked what they had previously thought about and how they felt about the ED process. Mean parental anxiety was 50.1 (95% CI 48.1, 52.2), significantly elevated from adult standards (p < 0.0001). A multivariate model comprising: (1) feeling "not at all" well rested, (2) having no other children, (3) having thought about a blood test, and (4) feeling worried about trusting the physician was associated with elevated anxiety. In conclusion, parents of febrile young children in the ED are very anxious.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Emergencies / epidemiology*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Fever / epidemiology*
  • Fever / etiology
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Prevalence