Systematic review finds that fever phobia is a worldwide issue among caregivers and healthcare providers

Acta Paediatr. 2019 Aug;108(8):1393-1397. doi: 10.1111/apa.14739. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


Aim: Fever phobia describes exaggerated concerns about the consequences of childhood fever and broader awareness is needed in everyday clinical practice. We investigated the factors associated with fever phobia in caregivers and healthcare providers and the geographical distribution of the issue.

Methods: The National Library of Medicine, Excerpta Medica and Google Scholar databases were searched.

Results: We retrieved 76 papers, published in English from 1985 to 2018, which covered wide areas of Asia, Europe, America, Africa and Australia. The occurrence of fever phobia was confirmed in 65 papers covering 26 521 caregivers. A number of factors were significantly associated with fever phobia, including low educational or socioeconomic levels, a history of febrile seizures in the child and young maternal age. Fever phobia was also more common in Bedouins and in people from Latin America, Southern Italy and Turkey. There were also 15 papers that addressed fever phobia among 4566 healthcare providers. All the reports suggested that a fear of fever and a tendency to over treat was common among physicians and nurses.

Conclusion: Fever phobia was a common world phenomena that affected caregivers and healthcare providers.

Keywords: Anxiety; Fever phobia; Nurses; Over treatment; Physicians.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Fever / psychology*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Phobic Disorders*