Fever Phobia: Educating caregivers in the primary care setting
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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.