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Background: Many parents consider fever a disease with the continuation of fever phobia and overuse of antipyretics to reduce it.
Objectives: Identifying Kuwaiti parents’ knowledge, beliefs, practices about fever management.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study, in which 614 Kuwaiti mothers of well children aged between 6 months and five years
were recruited. Data was collected over six month’s period from 1/9/2015 to 1/3/2016, using a self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Over the study period, a total of 614 mothers participated in the study, with a response rate of 94.5%. Mild fever was
reported to be ≤37.5°C by 33.2% (196) of mothers, and 27.1% (166) considered a temperature ≤38.5°C to be a high fever. Educational
attainment significantly influenced parents’ reports for high fever (F=4.68, df=4, P=0.001, n=207). Almost all the mothers believed
that fever could cause harm, and 48% (294) of them stated that fever is very harmful. Fifty-three percent of mothers (n=309) would
give antipyretic medication when body temperature is ≤38°C. The most commonly administered antipyretic was paracetamol. Sixtyone
percent (375) of the mothers had alternated antipyretic paracetamol and ibuprofen. Forty-five percent (274) of mothers think
that antipyretics are without potential harm. Level of education had a positive impact on the perception of fever [χ2 (df = 8) = 70.68,
p < .001]. Usual practices targeted temperature reduction, antipyretic administration (53.7%), temperature monitoring (49.7%),
offering more fluids (43.6%) and light clothing (38.3%). Forty-nine and 45% of the mothers practiced alcoholic and cold compresses
Conclusion: The knowledge of the parents about fever is poor. Fever phobia” remains extremely widespread, with an overuse of
antipyretics. Healthcare professionals have a duty of care to provide parents with accurate and consistent information about childhood
fever based on the latest scientific evidence.
Nabil A Badawy MD, had his Doctor degree from Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University in Egypt. His current position is Acting Dean of the College of Nursing, which is one of 5 colleges belonging to the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training in Kuwait. He is interested in researches about the knowledge and attitude of the public in Kuwait regarding OTC drugs as a step for establishing educational programs.