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Eur J Pediatr. 2009 Feb;168(2):167-71. doi: 10.1007/s00431-008-0724-z. Epub 2008 May 7.

First febrile convulsions: inquiry about the knowledge, attitudes and concerns of the patients' mothers.

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Department of Community Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C., Tehran, Iran.


In comparison with other diseases, febrile convulsion, despite its excellent prognosis, is a cause of high anxiety among mothers. The objective of our study was to evaluate the knowledge, concerns, attitudes and practices of the mothers of children with first febrile convulsion. A prospective questionnaire-based study was carried out at the Mofid Children's Hospital. One hundred and twenty-six mothers of consecutive children presenting with febrile convulsion were enrolled. Only 58 (46%) mothers recognised the convulsion. Forty-nine (39%) of them interpreted the seizure as death. Others interpreted it as other causes. Eighty-five (68%) parents did not carry out any intervention prior to getting the child to the hospital. The most common cause of concern among parents was the state of their child's health in the future (n=120, 95%), followed by the fear of recurrence (n=83, 66%), mental retardation (n=60, 48%), paralysis (n=39, 31%), physical disability (n=37, 30%) and learning dysfunction (n=28, 22%). In 41 (33%) mothers, there were other causes of concerns, including fear of visual defect, hearing loss, memory loss, brain defect, delay in walking, drug adverse effects, coma and death. Sixty-eight percent of mothers had acceptable information about the measures that should be taken to prevent recurrence. Awareness of preventive measures was higher in mothers with high educational level (P<0.01). Seventy-six percent of mothers did not know anything about the necessary measures in case of recurrence. From this study, we conclude that parental fear of febrile convulsion is a major problem, with serious negative consequences affecting daily familial life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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