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Abstract

CHILDHOOD FEVER AND ITS MANAGEMENT: DIFFERENCES IN KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES BETWEEN MOTHERS AND FATHERS IN TAIF; SAUDI ARABIA

*Abubaker Ibrahim Elbur

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The main aim of this study was to identify parental knowledge and practices on childhood fever and to determine the difference between mothers and fathers in both studied domains. Methods: This was community –based survey conducted in Taif; Saudi Arabia during April- June 2013. Participants were fathers and mothers of children 0-12 years old. Convenient method of sampling was adopted. Data was collected through face- to –face interview using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. Results: Seven hundred parents were included; of them 503 (71.9%) were mothers. Slightly more than three quarters their ages were < 40 years and 596 (85.1%) were permanently residing in the town. Over 60% had university education. Out of all recruited parents 269 (38.4%) correctly determined the threshold for defining fever. Mothers 204 (40.6%) knew the threshold for defining fever more that fathers 65 (33.0%); (P= 0.038). More than two third of the parents knew fever threshold for starting antipyretic treatment; mothers 346 (68.8%) were found to be more knowledgeable than fathers 93(47.2%); (P= 0.000). Fathers 45(22.8%) preferred the use of antipyretic only more than mothers 64 (12.7%); (P= 0.001). In contrast; mothers significantly preferred the use of either cold sponging or tepid more than fathers (P= 0.000), (P= 0.002) respectively. Conclusions: Misconceptions in knowledge and practices related to the identification and management of childhood fever was common. Generally mothers demonstrated better knowledge and good practices in this respect compared to fathers. Educational interventions are needed to raise parents’ awareness and upgrade their knowledge.

Keywords: Fever, Management, Parents, Knowledge, Practice, Saudi.


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