Fever Phobia: Educating caregivers in the primary care setting
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Abstract Introduction Historically febrile illnesses have their highest incidence in early childhood. Yet research has shown there is a profound misunderstanding among caregivers concerning fever in young children which can lead to increased caregiver anxiety, over utilization of emergency services and home treatment errors (Wallenstein et al., 2012). Methods A voluntary 10-question written survey was administered to the caregivers of children age 0-8 years that were brought to a rural family primary care clinic. The survey assessed basic knowledge and management of fever in young children. Results Results found that overall caregivers had a good basic knowledge on fever but were unsure of antipyretic dosing, home care management and when emergency care was needed. Discussion Understanding caregivers’ fear and assessing knowledge and perceptions of fever leads to better patient/provider communication and improved care for febrile children.