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The Perceptions and Attitudes of Parents and Medical Personnel Toward Fever of Children

Journal of the Korean Pediatric Society 1992;35(6):776-787.
Published online June 15, 1992.
The Perceptions and Attitudes of Parents and Medical Personnel Toward Fever of Children
Hyo Nam Cho, Jung-Hwan Choi, Chong Ku Yun
Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
소아의 열에 대한 보호자와 의료인의 인식 및 태도에 관한 연구
조효남, 최중환, 윤종구
서울대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Children commonly complain of suffering fever ; however, as studies have demonstrated, parents of a febrile infant or young child are inclined to become overly concerned. The pupose of this study was to investigate the perceptions and attitudes of medical personnel as well as parents. The parents of 189 children and 150 medical personnel (47 nurse-aides, 56 nurses, and 47 doctors) were interviewed about their knowledges, perceptions, and attitudes concerning fever and its treatment. Our results were as follows ; 1) Forty - three percent of parents and 25% of medical personnel regarded body temperature lower than 37.5℃ as fever. 2) Forty-four percent of parents and 81% of medical personnel considered temperature lower than 39.0℃ as high fever. 3) Fifteen percent of parents and 30% of medical personnel believed that temperature could rise above 42.0℃ in the absence of treatment. 4) Forty-two percent of parents and 48% of medical personnel would worry unduly about the dangers of fever at the temperature lower than 39.0℃. 5) Seventy-one percent of parents and 50% of medical personnel would oversue antipyretics, even when the body temperature is lower than 38.5℃. 6) Seventy percent of parents and 83% of medical personnel aggressively would use cold compression, even when body temperature is lower than 39.0℃ 7) The sites of temperature measurement, the types of thermometers and antipyretics used, and the information sources for fever were also investigated. It is concluded that the unduly concern and overly aggressive treatment of fever are common among medical personnel as well as parents. Considerable efforts will be required to reeducate parents and medical personnel about the difinition, consequences, and appropriate treatment of fever.
Key Words: Fever, Children

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