Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Nurs. 2019 Dec 31. doi: 10.1111/jocn.15165. [Epub ahead of print]

Fading confidence: A qualitative exploration of parents' experiences caring for a febrile child.

Author information

1
Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
2
Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

To explore parents' experiences with paediatric fever to understand their needs for information and support.

BACKGROUND:

Paediatric fever is a normal part of childhood, and multiple episodes of fever are a common occurrence between infancy and adulthood. Despite this expectation, paediatric fever often sparks fear and anxiety amongst parents. Existing research has primarily focused on measuring parental deficits, so a more in-depth exploration is helpful to understand the complexities of caring for a febrile child.

DESIGN:

Qualitative descriptive study.

METHODS:

Purposive sampling of N = 15 parents from a paediatric emergency department presenting with a febrile child. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in-person or via telephone. Thematic analysis was used to understand the data in the light of our research question. Reporting follows the consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research checklist.

RESULTS:

We found themes of (a) parental confidence through caregiving tasks, (b) emergent feelings of inadequacy, (i) referrals and limitations of community practice, (c) information needs and (d) information sources. Whereas parents were initially confident accessing information, providing care, making decisions and managing symptoms, new signs/symptoms sparked a change in parents' emotions, coping and behaviour. Parents routinely search for information about paediatric fever and value reliable, accessible resources.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings highlight parents' strengths assessing fever and effectively managing symptoms. We are encouraged by the potential for these results to inform the development of empowering resources to help parents make child health decisions during paediatric fever.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Findings provide an evidence base for researchers, clinicians and policymakers to improve care for paediatric patients and families. Parents want clear, reliable and accessible information about decision points associated with paediatric fever. Resources with an empowerment focus may help parents maintain a sense of control when caring for a febrile child.

KEYWORDS:

experiences; febrile child; information needs; paediatric fever; parents; qualitative

PMID:
31891200
DOI:
10.1111/jocn.15165

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center