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An Innovative Fever Management Education Program for Parents, Caregivers, and Emergency Nurses

Alqudah, Muhammad RN, MSN; Johnson, Maree RN, PhD; Cowin, Leanne RN, PhD; George, Ajesh BDS, PhD

Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal: January/March 2014 - Volume 36 - Issue 1 - p 52–61
doi: 10.1097/TME.0000000000000004
Cases of Note

Parents frequently present to the emergency department (ED) concerned about their child's fever. Fever management education programs have been found to improve parents' knowledge of managing fever, although no education program was identified that specifically considered parents with lower functional health literacy. This article describes the development of an easily understood children's fever management education program for parents with varying levels of health literacy. A review of existing literature and guidelines was conducted. Pictorial images and written material constrained to fifth-grade level of readability were used. Academics and ED experts confirmed the content of this evidence-based program. The education program, a combination of Digital Video Disc (DVD) and a brochure in relation to child fever management, is currently being trailed at an ED in Sydney and is appropriate for EDs or primary care settings. Tailoring education programs with plain and simple language is potentially beneficial to all parents (or caregivers) presenting to the ED with children experiencing fever. This program will provide nurses with a simple and clear fever management brochure or DVD to give to parents or caregivers with varying levels of health literacy. We envisage that this program will be continuously televised within local EDs and available for parents or caregivers to view online.

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Australia (Mr Alqudah and Dr Cowin); Centre for Applied Nursing Research, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, South Western Sydney Local Health District and Ingham Institute Applied Medical Research, Sydney, Australia, (Drs Johnson and George); Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (Dr George).

Corresponding Author: Maree Johnson, RN, PhD, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South, DC, NSW 1797, Australia (m.johnson@uws.edu.au).

Disclosure: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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