Ethnic differences in parental perceptions and management of childhood fever

Lauren M.S. Cohee, Michael T. Crocetti, Janet R. Serwint, Bruce Sabath, Sumit Kapoor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To explore knowledge and management of childhood fever among ethnically diverse parents and identify opportunities for educational intervention, we administered a cross-sectional survey to a convenience sample of 487 parents of children enrolled in 2 urban hospital-based pediatric clinics. Outcomes included parental definition of fever, level of concern, and management of fever. Latino parents were least likely to identify a temperature as nonfebrile from 97-100.3°F (adjusted odds ratios [AOR] 0.06) or identify a fever as a temperature from 100.4-107°F (AOR 0.52). African Americans were least likely to believe that fever can cause death or brain damage (AOR 0.4). African Americans were more likely to dose ibuprofen more frequently than recommended (AOR 1.97). All ethnicities are equally likely to treat normal temperatures and dose acetaminophen too frequently.Therefore continued education of all families about fever is necessary, and there are opportunities to develop ethnically sensitive strategies to target educational interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalClinical pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Disparities
  • Ethnicity
  • Fever
  • Parental beliefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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