Determining the fever-related knowledge and practices of mothers with children aged 1–5 years presenting to a child emergency service with fever complaints in Turkiye

  • Meryem Kayhanlar Gulcan
    Karamanoglu Mehmetbey University Vocational Health School, 70200 Karaman, Turkey
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 This article was based on the masters' thesis of the first author under the supervision of the second author.
    Nejla Canbulat Sahiner
    Corresponding author.
    1 This article was based on the masters' thesis of the first author under the supervision of the second author.
    Karamanoglu Mehmetbey University, Health Science Faculty, Pediatric Nursing Department, 70200 Karaman, Turkey
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 This article was based on the masters' thesis of the first author under the supervision of the second author.
Published:December 06, 2022DOI:



      This study aimed to evaluate and determine the knowledge and practices of mothers with children aged between 1 and 5 years presenting to a pediatric emergency service with fever complaints regarding fever management.

      Design and methods

      This study was descriptive and correlational study was conducted between March and May 2019 with mothers over the age of 18 who brought their children aged 1–5 years to the XX State Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department with fever complaints. To evaluate the descriptive characteristics of the mothers and their practices when their children had a fever, data were collected with a questionnaire form consisting of 36 open-ended questions and the Parents' Fever Management Scale-Turkish Version (PFMS-TR). The data were analyzed using the SPSS 21 software with frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, min-max values, chi-squared, Cronbach's alpha, ANOVA, t-test, Kruskal- Wallis test, post hoc analysis with Bonferroni correction and correlation analysis, where p < 0.05, was considered statistically significant.


      Of the mothers included in the study, 36.9% (n = 118) were between the ages of 33 and 39, 33.4% (n = 107) were graduates of higher education and 57.2% (n = 183) were homemakers. The mean number of people living at the homes of the participants was 4.26 ± 1.24 (min = 3, max = 8), the mean number of their children was 2.0 ±,97 (min = 1, max = 6), and the mean age of their children was 2.90 ± 1. 37 (min = 1, max = 5). The most common practices of the mothers when their children had fever were taking off their clothes and giving them antipyretic drugs. Moreover, the inappropriate practices of the mothers included rubbing the child with a vinegar and water mixture (11.9%) and cold application (8%). While 55.9% of the mothers were worried that the child would suffer post-fever convulsions 25.9% of them were worried that the child would suffer brain damage. A significant relationship was found between the mean scores of the mothers on PFMS-TR and their educational and economic statuses (p < 0.05).


      Fears of fever are common in mothers, but their knowledge and practices about fever are inaccurate / incomplete.

      Practice implications

      Parents should be informed about fever with up-to-date information by nurses, and the appropriate attitude should be established on this issue. Efficient educational activities can reduce fears of mothers and prevent ill-advised practices.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


        • Abdinia B.
        • Khalilzadeh H.
        Assessment of knowledge and performance of the parents at the management of fever in children.
        International Journal Of Pediatrics. 2017; 5: 6485-6493
        • Agrawal R.P.
        • Bhatia S.S.
        • Kaushik A.
        • Sharma C.M.
        Perception of fever and management practices by parents of pediatric patients.
        International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. 2017; 1: 397-400
        • Akbayram H.T.
        Fever management in preschool children; what do parents know? What are they doing?.
        Journal of Child Infection. 2021; 15: 154-160
        • Al Arifi M.N.
        • Alwhaibi A.
        Assessment of Saudi parents’ beliefs and behaviors towards management of child fever in Saudi Arabia—A cross-sectional study.
        International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18: 5217
        • AlAteeq M.M.
        • AlBader B.O.
        • Al-Howti S.Y.
        • Alsharyoufi M.
        • Abdullah J.B.
        Parent’s knowledge and practice in home management of fever in their children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
        Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. 2018; 7: 1012
        • Alsofyani B.A.
        • Hassanien N.S.
        Factors affecting parent’s practice regarding the management of children’s fever.
        Cureus. 2022; 14
        • Altun İ.
        • Cınar N.D.
        • Walsh A.M.
        Psychometric properties of the parents’ fever management scale in a Turkish population.
        HealthMED. 2011; 5: 567-575
        • Anokye R.
        • Amihere R.
        • Abbiaw P.
        • Acheampong E.
        • Gyamfi N.
        • Budu-Ainooson A.
        Childhood fever knowledge and management: A case of mothers with children under five years.
        Int J Pediatr Res. 2018; 4: 1-7
        • Arias D.
        • Carter S.R.
        • Chen T.F.
        • Moles R.J.
        Australian care givers’ knowledge of and attitudes towards paediatric fever management.
        Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2022; 58: 54-62
        • Arias D.
        • Chen T.F.
        • Moles R.J.
        Development and validation of a Fever Management Questionnaire aimed at parents and care givers.
        Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2021; 57: 192-197
        • Barutcu A.
        • Barutcu S.
        Evaluation of knowledge, attitudes and practices of parents presenting to a hospital emergency department with a complaint of fever in a child.
        Signa Vitae. 2020; 16: 123-129
        • de Bont E.G.
        • Bohnen J.M.
        • Verhoeven R.
        • Dinant G.J.
        • Cals J.W.
        Childhood fever: Parental paracetamol administration after consulting out-of-hours general practice.
        European Journal of General Practice. 2020; 26: 21-25
        • Castellano V.E.
        • Talamona N.
        • Giglio N.D.
        • Sabbaj L.
        • Gentile Á.
        Knowledge and management of fever in parents of children under 5 years of age at a children’s hospital.
        Archivos Argentinos de Pediatría. 2020; 118: 89-94
        • Chapron A.
        • Brochard M.
        • Rousseau C.
        • Rousseau A.C.
        • Brujean M.
        • Fiquet L.
        • Gandemer V.
        Parental reassurance concerning a feverish child: Determinant factors in rural general practice.
        BMC Family Practice. 2018; 19: 1-7
        • Çınar N.D.
        • Altun I.
        • Altınkaynak S.
        • Walsh A.
        Turkish parents’ management of childhood fever: A cross-sectional survey using the PFMS-TR.
        Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal. 2014; 17: 3-10
        • Daifallah A.
        • Jabr R.
        • Al-Tawil F.
        • Elkourdi M.
        • Salman Z.
        • Koni A.
        • Zyoud S.E.H.
        An assessment of parents’ knowledge and awareness regarding paracetamol use in children: A cross-sectional study from Palestine.
        BMC Public Health. 2021; 21: 1-10
        • Gunduz S.
        • Usak E.
        • Koksal T.
        • Canbal M.
        Why fever phobia is still common?.
        Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. 2016; 18e23827
        • Hew Y.H.
        • Blebil A.Q.
        • Dujaili J.A.
        • Khan T.M.
        Assessment of knowledge and practices of parents regarding childhood fever management in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
        Drugs & Therapy Perspectives. 2019; 35: 29-35
        • Hiller M.G.
        • Caffery M.S.
        • Bégué R.E.
        A survey about fever knowledge, attitudes, and practices among parents.
        Clinical Pediatrics. 2019; 58: 677-680
        • Hussain S.M.
        • Al-Wutayd O.
        • Aldosary A.H.
        • Al-Nafeesah A.
        • AlE’ed A.
        • Alyahya M.S.
        • Aloyaidi G.A.
        Knowledge, attitude, and practice in management of childhood fever among Saudi parents.
        Global Pediatric Health. 2020; 7 (2333794X20931613)
        • Kamal Badawy N.A.
        • Alhajraf A.F.
        • Alsamdan M.F.
        Kuwaiti parent’s knowledge of their children’s fever and their patterns of use of over the counter antipyretics.
        Australasian Medical Journal. 2017; 10
        • Kelly M.
        • Sahm L.J.
        • Shiely F.
        • O’Sullivan R.
        • McGillicuddy A.
        • McCarthy S.
        Parental knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding fever in children: An interview study.
        BMC Public Health. 2016; 16: 1-7
        • Kılıç R.
        • Kendir Ö.T.
        • Gökay S.S.
        • Çelik T.
        • Özkaya A.K.
        • Yılmaz H.L.
        Knowledge and attitudes of parents regarding fever in children.
        J Pediatr Emerg Intensive Care Med. 2016; 3: 76-85
        • Kilicaslan O.
        • Sonmez C.I.
        • Dincer D.
        • Sengun Y.
        • Temizkan R.C.
        • Eroz R.
        • Kocabay K.
        Attitude and behaviors of mothers regarding fever in children; a Duzce University Faculty of Medicine study.
        Family Practice and Palliative Care. 2018; 3: 12-17
        • Korkut Y.
        Mothers’ knowledge and management of fever in febrile children.
        Family Practice and Palliative Care. 2018; 3: 113-116
        • Lwanga S.K.
        • Lemeshow S.
        Sample size determination in health studies: A practical manual.
        World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland1991: 1-25
        • MacMahon D.
        • Brabyn C.
        • Dalziel S.R.
        • McKinlay C.J.
        • Tan E.
        Fever phobia in caregivers presenting to New Zealand emergency departments.
        Emergency Medicine Australasia. 2021; 33: 1074-1081
        • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
        Fever in under 5s: assessment and initial management.
        (Retrieved on: 10.10.2022)
        • Nield L.S.
        • Kamat D.
        Fever. İnfectious diseases.
        in: Kliegman R.M. Nelson textbook of pediatrics. 20th ed. Elsevier, Philadelphia2016: 1277-1279
        • Peetoom K.K.
        • Ploum L.
        • Smits J.M.
        • Halbach N.S.
        • Dinant G.J.
        • Cals A.J.
        Childhood fever in well-child clinics: A focus group study among doctors and nurses.
        BMC Health Services Research. 2016; 16: 240
        • Peetoom K.K.
        • Smits J.J.
        • Ploum L.J.
        • Verbakel J.Y.
        • Dinant G.J.
        • Cals J.W.
        Does well-child care education improve consultations and medication management for childhood fever and common infections? A systematic review.
        Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2017; 102: 261-267
        • Piller S.
        • Herzog D.
        The burden of visits for fever at a paediatric emergency room: A retrospective study on patients presenting at the cantons hospital of Fribourg, a peripheral public hospital of Switzerland.
        Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics. 2019; 10: 147
        • Purssell E.
        • Collin J.
        Fever phobia: The impact of time and mortality–a systematic review and meta-analysis.
        International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2016; 56: 81-89
        • Rachmawati S.
        • Khotimah K.
        • Norcahyanti I.
        Iaı conference: Mother’s knowledge and practices towards self-medication of fever among children under five years in Muncar Banyuwangi, Indonesia.
        Pharmacy Education. 2021; 21: 264-268
        • Raffaeli G.
        • Orenti A.
        • Gambino M.
        • Peves Rios W.
        • Bosis S.
        • Bianchini S.
        • Esposito S.
        Fever and pain management in childhood: Healthcare providers’ and parents’ adherence to current recommendations.
        International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2016; 13: 499
        • Sakr F.
        • Akiki Z.
        • Dabbous M.
        • Salameh P.
        • Akel M.
        The role of pharmacists in providing immunization to the general population: Are Lebanese pharmacists ready for this role?.
        Pharmacy Practice. 2021; 19: 1-8
        • Sakr F.
        • Toufaili Z.
        • Akiki Z.
        • Akel M.
        • Malaeb D.
        • Dabbous M.
        • Salameh P.
        Fever among preschool-aged children: A cross-sectional study assessing Lebanese parents’ knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding paediatric fever assessment and management.
        BMJ Open. 2022; 12e063013
        • Schmitt B.D.
        Fever phobia: Misconceptions of parents about fevers.
        American Journal of Diseases of Children. 1980; 134: 176-181
        • Sezici E.
        Mothers’ experiences of fever in their hospitalized children: A qualitative study.
        DEUHFED. 2019; 12 (0000-0002-6325-6607): 40-45
        • Suluhan D.
        • Taşal C.
        • Yıldız D.
        • Fidancı B.E.
        • Konukbay D.
        • Sürer İ.
        • Faysal G.Ö.K.
        4. Determine the knowledge and attitudes of mothers, who have children aged 0-6 years, about antipyretic drug usage.
        Florence Nightingale Journal of Nursing. 2016; 24: 90-96
        • Talebi S.
        • Shahrabadi H.
        • Vahıdı S.A.
        • Talebi S.
        • Siyavoshi M.
        Mothers’ management of fever of children in Sabzevar.
        Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Sciences. 2016; 3: 32-39
        • Temel A.B.
        • Arabacı Z.
        • Kahveci T.
        Mothers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices in the management of fever in their children.
        Sağlık Akademisi Kastamonu. 2016; 1: 1-17
        • Ulutaş İ.
        • Şimşek İ.
        Investigation of mothers' approaches to intervention of their children's fever.
        Balikesir Journal of Health Sciences. 2018; 7: 62-68
        • Urbane U.N.
        • Likopa Z.
        • Gardovska D.
        • Pavare J.
        Beliefs, practices and health care seeking behavior of parents regarding fever in children.
        Medicina. 2019; 55: 398
        • Villarejo-Rodríguez M.G.
        • Rodríguez-Martín B.
        Parental approach to the management of childhood fever: Differences between health professional and non-health professional parents.
        International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16: 4014
        • Walsh A.M.
        • Edwards H.E.
        • Courtney M.D.
        • Wilson J.E.
        • Monaghan S.J.
        Fever management: Paediatric nurses’ knowledge, attitudes and influencing factors.
        Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2005; 49: 453-464
        • Waly E.H.
        • Bakry H.M.
        Assessment of Egyptian mothers’ knowledge and domestic management practices of fever in preschool children in Zagazig City, Sharkia Governorate.
        Children. 2022; 9: 349
        • Wilson K.M.
        • Beggs S.A.
        • Zosky G.R.
        • Bereznicki L.R.
        • Bereznicki B.J.
        Parental knowledge, beliefs and management of childhood fever in Australia: A nationwide survey.
        Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 2019; 44: 768-774
        • Yalnizoglu S.Ç.
        • Cinar N.
        • Altinkaynak S.
        Ateşli çocuğa yaklaşım.
        Journal of Human Rhytm. 2015; 1: 133-138
        • Yavuz E.
        • Yayla E.
        • Cebeci S.E.
        • Kırımlı E.
        • Gumustakim R.S.
        • Cakir L.
        • Dogan S.
        Parental beliefs and practices regarding childhood fever in Turkish primary care.
        Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice. 2017; 20: 93-98
        • Yazici T.
        • Kutlu R.
        Evaluation of fever management and rational drug use in mothers of children under the age of five.
        Journal of Istanbul Faculty of Medicine. 2022; 85: 404-415
        • Yigit P.
        • Sarialioglu A.
        Investigation of anxiety levels and fever management of parents of children with fever.
        Journal of Current Pediatrics/ Current Pediatrics. 2022; 20
        • Yigitalp G.
        Knowledge and practices of mothers with 0-6 years-old children on fever: The case of Diyarbakir.
        TED/Journal of Continuing Medical Education. 2019; 28: 172-180
        • Yilmaz A.T.
        in: Yurdakok M. Infection disease. Yurdakok Pediatri, Ankara, Günes Tıp, Kitapevleri2017: 2435-2441