Promoting evidence-based childhood fever management through a peer education programme based on the theory of planned behaviour

Edwards, Helen E., Walsh, Anne M., Courtney, Mary D., Monaghan, Sarah, Wilson, Jennifer E., & Young, Jeanine (2007) Promoting evidence-based childhood fever management through a peer education programme based on the theory of planned behaviour. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 16(10), pp. 1966-1979.

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ABSTRACT Aims and Objectives This study examined effectiveness of a theoretically based education programme in reducing inappropriate antipyretic use in fever management. Background Paediatric nurses’ inconsistent, ritualistic antipyretic use in fever management is influenced by many factors including inconsistent beliefs and parental requests. Determinants of antipyretic administration, identified by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), were belief-based attitudes and subjective norms. Design A quasi-experiment explored group effects of a Peer Education Program, based on the TPB, on factors influencing paediatric nurses’ antipyretic administration. Surveys and chart audits collected data from medical wards at experimental and control hospitals one month pre and one and four months post Peer Education Program. Methods All nurses employed in targeted wards were eligible to participate in surveys and all eligible charts were audited. The Peer Education Program (PEP) consisted of four one-hour sessions targeting evidence-based knowledge, myths and misconceptions, normative, attitudinal and control influences over and rehearsal of evidence-based fever management. All nurses in experimental hospital targeted wards were eligible to attend. Peer education and support facilitated session information reaching those unable to attend sessions. Results Two-way univariate ANOVAs explored between subject, experimental and control group and within subject factors, pre, post and latency data. Significant interactions in normative influence (p=0.01) and intentions (p=0.01), a significant main group effect in control influence (p=0.01) and a significant main effect between audit data across time points (p=0.03) highlight PEP effectiveness in behaviour change. Normative, control and intention changes post PEP were maintained in latency data; mean temperature was not.
Conclusion The PEP, based on a behaviour change theory, initiated and maintained evidence-based intentions for antipyretics use in fever management. Relevance to Clinical Practice The promotion of evidence-based change in organisational unit intentions and behaviour highlights the crucial role peer support and education can play in continuing educational programmes.

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ID Code: 9653
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Child Nursing, Nurse Education, Clinical Decision, Making, Evidence, based Practice, Experimental Design, Theory of Planned Behavior
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.01767.x
ISSN: 0962-1067
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Clinical Nursing - Secondary (Acute Care) (111003)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 10 Jun 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:37

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