Mothers' knowledge of, attitudes toward, and management of fever in preschool children in Italy

Piero Impicciatore, Simona Nannini, Chiara Pandolfini, Maurizio Bonati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. We examined mothers' knowledge of, attitudes toward, and management of fever in their children. Methods. Interviews of mothers of preschool children were performed using a structured questionnaire administered by interviewers with no specific medical competence. Results. Of a total of 1,237 mothers who were interviewed, data were analyzed for the 707 mothers who had coped with a febrile episode in their children during the previous month. Of these, 59% were concerned about fever in their children and 17% were very worried. At the onset of fever, 48% of the mothers gave their child an antipyretic and 18% called the physician immediately. In logistic regression analysis, five variables were significantly associated with mothers' concern: the absence of previous information on the management of fever, temperature >39°C, an only child, mother's low educational level, and mother's residency in the south of Italy. For the request for a physician's visit, of the variables entered, the only explanatory ones were the mother's concern and the absence of previous information on the management of fever. Conclusions. These findings suggest that informing mothers on the definition, consequences, and treatment of fever can significantly improve their confidence in managing fever, as reflected by fewer requests for physicians' visits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-273
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998

Keywords

  • Child
  • Fever management
  • Italy
  • Mothers' attitudes
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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