Parental and medical knowledge and management of fever in Italian pre-school children Full Text
BMC Pediatrics, 07/17/2012
Chiappini E et al. – Paediatricians' attitudes greatly influence the parental behaviours and beliefs. Implementation of educational programs regarding the management of the febrile child are needed in setting.Methods
- A questionnaire was administered to a convenient sample of Italian parents and paediatricians.
- The questionnaire elicited information about definition and cause of fever, concerns about fever, method of temperature measurement, and treatment modalities.
- Overall, 388 parents and 480 paediatricians were interviewed.
- All the parents believed that fever could cause at least one harmful effect and 89.9% (n = 349) believed that, if left untreated, it can cause brain damage or seizures. Parents used multiple resources to obtain information about fever but 67.8% (n = 264) considered paediatricians as their primary resource.
- Several wrong behaviours were found in the same proportions among parents and paediatricians: 78.5% of paediatricians (n = 377) and 77.8% of parents (n = 302) used physical method to reduce fever (P = 0.867); 27.0% of paediatricians (n = 103) and 21.4% (n = 83) of parents declared to alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen (P = 0.953).
- Differently, 73.1% (n = 351) of paediatricians preferred oral to rectal administration of antipyretics compared to 48.7% (n = 190) of parents (P < 0.0001).
- Worrisomely, 1.4% of paediatricians and 1.2% of parents declared to use acetylsalicylic acid or steroids as second-choice antipyretics (P = 0.937) and 6.7% (n = 26) of parents declared to use table- or teaspoons for determining the dose of drug.