Fever education: does it reduce parent fever anxiety?

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2001 Feb;17(1):47-51. doi: 10.1097/00006565-200102000-00014.


Objective: The aims of the study were to determine the following: 1) if a fever education program (interactive or written) reduces parent fever anxiety; 2) if an interactive fever program was more effective as a teaching style than standard written material alone; and 3) if a fever program increases parent fever home management and reduces return emergency department (ED) visits.

Method: A quasiexperimental, pretest and post-test pilot study examining parental fever anxiety was conducted at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Eligible participants consisted of 87 parents and their children, aged 3 months to 5 years presenting with fever >38.4 degrees C, and without coexisting serious illness.

Results: Both the interactive fever education program and the standard written fever pamphlet were equally effective as teaching methods. Data revealed a 30% reduction in fever anxiety rated as moderate-severe on arrival to none-low post-fever education, increased parent fever home management skills with correct use of thermometer and antipyretics, and reduced unnecessary return ED visits.

Conclusion: Parents in the acute and nonacute care setting may benefit from an interactive fever education program that includes the definition and benefit of fever, the correct use of a thermometer, fever home management skills, and appropriate fever telephone follow-up.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Nursing
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Fever / diagnosis*
  • Fever / therapy*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Home Nursing / education*
  • Home Nursing / methods*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Pamphlets
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Philadelphia
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Teaching Materials