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Attitudes and subjective norms: determinants of parents’ intentions to reduce childhood fever with medications

Walsh, Anne M., Edwards, Helen E., & Fraser, Jennifer A. (2009) Attitudes and subjective norms: determinants of parents’ intentions to reduce childhood fever with medications. Health Education Research, 24(3), pp. 531-545.

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Abstract

Fever is a natural protective response of the host organism. Mild to moderate fevers, up to 40.0ºC, have immunological benefits and do not need to be reduced. However, parents regularly reduce fever with medications to prevent perceived harmful outcomes. This study identified the determinants of parents’ intentions to reduce childhood fever with medications. A community-based crossectional survey was conducted with 391 Australian parents of children aged between 6-months and 5-years. Recruitment was through advertising, face-to-face, and snowball methods. The survey targeted constructs of the Theory of Planned Behavior: attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, intentions and previously identified background factors. Structural equation modeling identified 69% of the variance in intentions. The strongest influences were from non-scientifically based attitudes (phobic) (β=.55) and subjective norms (husband/partner and doctors) (β=.36). Attitudes (β=.69) and subjective norms (β=.52) were strongly determined by child medication behaviour (whether the child took medications easily when febrile) which had a total effect on intentions of β=.66. Perceived control, education and number of children had minimal influence on intentions. There is an urgent need for 1) the education of both parents in the benefits of fever and 2) for doctors to consistently provide parents with evidence-based information.

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7 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 17061
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Funding: Royal College of Nursing, Australia (Margaret Sullivan Scholarship 2006)
Keywords: Theory of Planned Behavior, medication use, childhood fever, attitudes, subjective norms
DOI: 10.1093/her/cyn055
ISSN: 0268-1153
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PAEDIATRICS AND REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (111400) > Paediatrics (111403)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Community Child Health (111704)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Oxford University Press
Deposited On: 23 Dec 2008 11:42
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:48

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