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Int J Nurs Pract. 2018 Oct;24(5):e12649. doi: 10.1111/ijn.12649. Epub 2018 May 10.

Tepid massage for febrile children: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu, South Korea.
Department of Nursing, Korean Nurses Association, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Nursing, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea.



This study aimed to examine the effect of tepid massage in febrile children comparing with other fever management.


Experimental studies published in English were included; quasi-experimental research studies were also included in consideration of rare experimental studies in Korean. The search strategy sought to identify published research reports in the English language and covered all major databases up to 2016. The methodological quality of each study was assessed by 2 independent reviewers using a Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network's Methodology Checklist. Means and standard deviations were used for continuous variables, and standardized mean difference was used for variables of different scales. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 statistics after visual reviewing with forest plots.


This study reviewed mainly the effect of tepid massage on temperature compared with the use of antipyretics, along with other adverse effects in relation with fever management. The results revealed no significant effect of tepid massage on temperature in febrile children. In addition, incidence rates of adverse effects including chills, goose pimples, and discomfort were higher in tepid massage groups.


This meta-analysis showed the need for re-verification of commonly used practice including the use of tepid massage and proper body temperature measurement.


children; fever management; meta-analysis; systematic review; tepid massage

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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