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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2010 Feb;49(2):172-6. doi: 10.1177/0009922809336208. Epub 2009 May 15.

A comparison of perceptions of fever and fever phobia by ethnicity.

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  • 1University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Department of Pediatrics, Wichita, Kansas 67214, USA.



The purpose of our study was to compare caregiver perceptions of fever between ethnicities in a population with a large percentage of Hispanics.


A 20-item, cross-sectional survey was collected from English- and Spanish-speaking parents of children. Questions addressed level of parental worry, parental definition of fever and high fever, and other items related to fever and its potential outcomes and treatments.


Responses indicated 57% of all parents report being "very worried" when their child is febrile. Results also indicated that parental fear of fever varies by race. Worry was also significantly higher in parents of younger children, and in parents with fewer years of education. However, Hispanic ethnicity was the single most predictive factor for fever worry.


Fever phobia continues to exist. The prevalence appears to differ by ethnicity, making it important for physicians to use every patient encounter for culturally sensitive fever education.

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