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Acta Paediatr. 2019 Feb 4. doi: 10.1111/apa.14739. [Epub ahead of print]

Systematic review finds that fever phobia is a worldwide issue among caregivers and healthcare providers.

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Pediatric Department of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Pediatric Unit, Milan, Italy.
Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland.
Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Pediatric Emergency Department, Milan, Italy.
Pediatric Cardiology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.



Fever phobia describes exaggerated concerns about the consequences of childhood fever and broader awareness is needed in everyday clinical practice. We investigated the factors associated with fever phobia in caregivers and healthcare providers and the geographical distribution of the issue.


The National Library of Medicine and Excerpta Medica databases were searched for papers on fever phobia, excluding those that tackled fever phobia.


We retrieved 76 papers, published in English from 1985-2018, which covered wide areas of Asia, Europe, America, Africa and Australia. Fever phobia was common and 65 papers confirmed the occurrence of fever phobia among 26,521 caregivers. These showed that a number of factors were significantly associated with fever phobia, including low educational or socioeconomic levels, a history of febrile seizures in the child and young maternal age. Fever phobia was also more common in Bedouins and in people from Latin America, Southern Italy and Turkey. There were also 15 papers that addressed fever phobia among 4,566 healthcare providers. All the reports suggested that a fear of fever and a tendency to over treat was common among physicians and nurses.


Fever phobia was a common world phenomena that affected caregivers and healthcare providers. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


anxiety; fever phobia; nurses; over treatment; physicians


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