Parents' Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs of Childhood Fever Management in Jordan: a Cross-Sectional Study
Background: Studies have demonstrated that some parents have limited knowledge and several false beliefs regarding fever, its management and role in illness.
Objective: The aims of this study were to investigate parents' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding childhood fever management in Jordan in comparison to current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Italian fever management guidelines.
Methods: An observational, survey-based cross-sectional study design was carried out with a convenience sample of 419 Jordanian adult parents in Irbid governorate area, Jordan. The survey consisted of four major categories with 32 ‘yes/no’ and multiple-choice questions. Descriptive statistics were presented, and chi-square test/ Fisher exact test and a t-test were performed to compare the demographics in this study to the frequencies of oral vs. rectal drug administration and beliefs about the usefulness of alternating drugs. SAS 9.3 was used to conduct all the statistical analysis at a significance level of 0.05.
Results: Our results indicated that a high proportion of parents use rectal route for temperature measurement (37%) and medication administration (50%). Approximately half the parents administer treatment when temperature is above 38°C (48%)and only 10% based their calculation of dose on weight. Approximately half the parents reported deciding the right antipyretic medication (59%) and the right dose (48%) to administer to their un-well child using previous advice they have had from their pediatrician. The chi-square test showed no significant differences with any of the demographics with beliefs regarding the usefulness of alternating drugs, while a significant association between the site used in administering the drugs and sex (p=0.003), age category (p=0.03) and number of kids (p=0.029) were documented.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that parents often misuse the antipyretics medications, incorrectly manage their child’s fever, follow inappropriate practices to reduce fever, and generally have poor knowledge of basic information regarding fever. As the data suggest that a high proportion of parents use the rectal route for temperature measurement and medication administration, educational programs may be necessary to ensure the process of taking rectal temperature readings is safe and sanitary, especially among female parents, younger age groups and those with 3 or less kids. Findings from this study underscore the need to develop and evaluate programs that educate parents and provide them with the knowledge base required to better manage their children’s fevers.
Key Take Away Points
- Parents have several misconceptions, false beliefs and poor knowledge about antipyretics medication use and fever management.
- Sex, age category and number of kids have a significant association with the site used (oral route or rectal rout) in administering the fever medication in Jordan.
- A high proportion of parents use rectal route for temperature measurement and medication administration, Therefore educational programs may be necessary to ensure the process of taking rectal temperature readings is safe and sanitary.
Liqa Athamneh is a graduate student at the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy at the University of Houston’s collage of pharmacy.
Marwa El-Moghrabi, M.D., is a pediatric resident at The Ministry of Health in Jordan.
El-Moghrabi works at Al Na'eme Comprehensive Medical Center in Irbid/Jordan.
Mohammad Athamneh, M.D., is a surgery resident at the Ministry of Health in Jordan, Athamneh works at the Emergency Department at Al-Ramtha Hospital.
E. James Essien, M.D., Dr.P.H., is a Professor of Public Health and Director of the Institute of Community Health at the University of Houston, Essien is also an Adjunct Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. His major research interest is HIV/AIDS risks, prevention and education.
Corresponding author, Susan Abughosh, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy at University of Houston’s Collage of Pharmacy. Abughosh’s research interests include tobacco use and smoking cessation, waterpipe smoking, obesity management, and persistence to long-term therapies.
Athamneh, Liqa; El-Mughrabi, Marwa; Athamneh, Mohmmad; Essien, E James; and Abughosh, Susan
"Parents' Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs of Childhood Fever Management in Jordan: a Cross-Sectional Study,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 5:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol5/iss1/8
Responses to this Article:
Clay T. Jones, A Commentary on "Parents’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs of Childhood Fever Management in Jordan": The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Caregiver Fever Phobia (May 2014)