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Paediatr Nurs. 2003 Mar;15(2):22-5.

Temperature taking: children's preferences.

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Derbyshire Children's Hospital, Southern Derbyshire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.


Children aged between six and 15 years on two paediatric wards of one NHS trust were invited to take part in a study to find out whether they preferred digital underarm thermometry or tympanic thermometry. The study was conducted as part of the Nursing and Midwifery Research and Practice Development Project for the Southern Derbyshire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. In the six to ten year age group (n = 39), 74 per cent of the children preferred the tympanic thermometer, as did 91 per cent in the 11-15 year age group (n = 44). Children/young people in both age groups commented that the tympanic thermometer was quicker and more comfortable. All children over two years now have their temperature taken using the tympanic thermometer, with the exception of those for whom it would not be medically appropriate or who express dislike for this method.

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