Fever and pain management in childhood: Healthcare providers’ and parents’ adherence to current recommendations

Genny Raffaeli, Annalisa Orenti, Monia Gambino, Walter Peves Rios, Samantha Bosis, Sonia Bianchini, Claudia Tagliabue, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In order to evaluate the adherence of healthcare providers and parents to the current recommendations concerning fever and pain management, randomized samples of 500 healthcare providers caring for children and 500 families were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire. The 378 health care providers (HCPs) responding to the survey (75.6%) included 144 primary care pediatricians (38.1%), 98 hospital pediatricians (25.9%), 62 pediatric residents (16.4%), and 71 pediatric nurses (19.6%); the 464 responding parents (92.8%) included 175 whose youngest (or only) child was ≤5 years old (37.7%), 175 whose youngest (or only) child was aged 6-10 years (37.7%), and 114 whose youngest (or only) child was aged 11-14 years (24.6%). There were gaps in the knowledge of both healthcare providers and parents. Global adherence to the guidelines was lower among the pediatric nurses than the other healthcare providers (odds ratio 0.875; 95% confidence interval 0.795-0.964). Among the parents, those of children aged 6-10 and 11-14 years old, those who were older, and those without a degree answered the questions correctly significantly less frequently than the others. These findings suggest that there is an urgent need to improve the dissemination of the current recommendations concerning fever and pain management among healthcare providers and parents in order to avoid mistaken and sometimes risky attitudes, common therapeutic errors, and the unnecessary overloading of emergency department resources. Pediatric nurses and parents with older children, those who are older, and those with a lower educational level should be the priority targets of educational programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number499
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016



  • Analgesics
  • Antipyretics
  • Fever
  • Ibuprofen
  • Pain
  • Paracetamol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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