Volume : V, Issue : VI, June - 2016

Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs of parents regarding fever in children in Bhubaneswar: a hospital based Study

Dr Dillip Kumar Dash, Dr M. D Mohanty, Dr Naresh Acharya, Pratik Swain

Abstract :

 Background: “Give me a fever and I can cure the patient,” Hippocrates was said to have taught his students. One of the greatest teachers in early medicine, Hippocrates understood that the body has an innate capacity for self-healing. But when a child is running a fever of >102F, how many parents will say to themselves, “Oh great, my little’s body is fighting the infection just the way it is supposed to?” Most parents will run for the thermometer and the paracetamol to try and ing the fever down due to their fear that their child will suffer ain damage.It accounts for more phone calls and visits to paediatricians’ offices than almost any other symptom. But parents aren’t the only ones who have this fever phobia. Numerous studies have found that doctors actually perpetuate fever phobia by fixating on a child’s temperature when inquiring about symptoms7.Fever in children is common and mostly caused by self-limiting infections or inflammation. However, the number of (re)consultations in primary care is high, driven by lack of knowledge and fear among parents.Thisresult in a lot of unnecessary medication and many more. Medical literature interest in parents’ management of fever appears to have originatedfrom an article written by Schmitt in 1980 where he coined the phrase ‘feverphobia’ to describe parents’ unrealistic fears about fever2. Since this time parents’fever phobia, confirmed by their overuse of medical practitioners for minor feileillnesses, has been the interestingimpetus for the majority of research in this area. The objective of this study was to survey parents about their knowledge and attitude concerningfever in their children & its management at home. Patients and Methods: The study involved the random selection ofparentsadmitted their children with varying diseases condition associated with fever to IMS & SUM hospital, Bhubaneswar. They were interrogated during their hospital stay by providing the questionnaires’’.650Parents were interviewed over a period of 6 month using a standard questionnaire to obtain sociodemographic information,current knowledge of fever and targeting parents’ temperature-taking, antipyretic administration, attitudes, practices and information-seeking behaviours.. For the parental survey, a questionnaire, based onthe study of Schmitt et al. 1980 and Crocetti et al. 20012,3 was developed to elicitinformation about definition of fever, concerns about fever and fever management.Additional information included methods and frequency of temperature monitoring, usedmethods for body temperature control, sources of information and beliefs regarding potentialconsequences of fever were added for more information. Approximately 75% of the respondents were female, and the ages of the most were in the range of 20-40years. More than 70% of the parents had two or more children. Results:More than 90% of parents showed a poor concern & understanding of the definition of fever, high fever, maximum temperature of untreated fever, and threshold temperature warranting antipyretics. About 32% ofparents considered temperatures less than 38.0oC to be fever, another 32% did not know the definition of fever,64% felt that temperatures of less than 40.0oC could be dangerous to a child, and 25% could not define highfever. Another 15% believed that if left untreated, temperatures could rise to 42.0oC or higher, but 38% could notprovide an answer, and 43% did not know the minimum temperature for administering antipyretics.Approximately 80% of parents demonstrated undue fear of consequent body damage from fever, includingconvulsion, ain damage or stroke, coma, severe illness, blindness, and even death. Conclusion: Parental misconceptions about fever reflect the lack of active health education in our community. Our results indicate that parents often misuse the antipyretics medications, incorrectly manage their child’s fever, follow inappropriate practices to reduce fever, and generally have poor knowledge of basic information regarding fever.Knowledge regarding Home treatment for fever was very poor in parents in terms of antipyretics of choice, dose, and route of administration. Instrument use to administer drug& other remedies in addition to drugs is very questionable.

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Article: Download PDF    DOI : https://www.doi.org/10.36106/gjra  

Cite This Article:

Dr Dillip Kumar Dash, Dr M.D Mohanty, Dr Naresh acharya, Pratik swain Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs of parents regarding fever in children in Bhubaneswar: a hospital based Study Global Journal For Research Analysis, Vol.5, Issue : 6 JUNE 2016


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