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Parental responses to first and recurrent febrile convulsions

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Objective– To compare parental knowledge, attitudes, concerns, and first-aid practices for children experiencing febrile convulsions (FC). Subjects and methods– A questionnaire was mailed to 326 FC parents from 11 emergency departments in southern Taiwan. Results– A total of 109 first- and 107 recurrent-FC parents responded 1–3 months after the FC. Most incorrectly believed an electroencephalogram (EEG) or computed tomography (CT) was necessary; immunization should be postponed, and overestimated the risk of subsequent epilepsy. Parents were concerned about further attacks in the night, fever episodes, and frequently measured the child's body temperature. During the first episode, objects were inserted into the child's mouth and they were rushed to a hospital. One third lowered the child's body temperature, and 15% positioned the children on their side. For subsequent seizures, 80% anticipated rushing the child to a hospital, and 44% would put objects into the child's mouth. In comparison, although the recurrent-FC parents had higher scores in knowledge and attitudes than the first-FC parents, low knowledge scores (40% correct) were seen in both groups. No significant differences were found on parental concerns, performed/anticipated first aid for FC. Conclusion– Most FC parents had inadequate knowledge, high concerns, and improper first-aid practices. This suggests that parents with either first- or recurrent-FC children need information, emotional support, and first-aid demonstrations.

Keywords: febrile convulsions; first-aid practices; parental responses; psycho-educational interventions

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Nursing, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, 2: Department of Pediatrics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, 3: School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2002


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