Childhood fever and medical students: A multicentre, educational intervention

Gregorio P. Milani, Antonio Corsello, Peter J. Schulz, Marta Fadda, Maria Lorella Giannì, Ilaria Alberti, Anna Comotti, Paola Marchisio, Elena Chiappini, Diego Peroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim: Misconceptions and non-evidence-based practices toward childhood fever are reported worldwide. Medical students might be ideal candidates to introduce long-lasting changes in clinical practice. However, no study has gauged the effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve fever management in this population. We conducted an educational, interventional study on childhood fever among final-year medical students. Methods: We conducted a prospective, multicentre interventional study employing a pre/post-test design. Participants from three Italian Universities filled in a questionnaire just before the intervention (T0), immediately after (T1) and 6 months later (T2) in 2022. The intervention was a two-hour lecture focused on the pathophysiology of fever, recommendations for its treatment and risks associated with improper management. Results: 188 final-year medical students (median age of 26 years, 67% females) were enrolled. Relevant improvements in the criterion for treating fever and conceptions about the beneficial effects of fever were observed at T1 and T2. Similar data were found for the reduction of physical methods advice to decrease body temperature and concerns for brain damage from fever. Conclusion: This study shows for the first time that an educational intervention is effective in changing students' conceptions and attitudes toward fever both in the short and medium term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1954-1961
Number of pages8
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Acta Paediatrica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation Acta Paediatrica.


  • fever
  • fever phobia
  • pharmacological treatments
  • physical methods
  • training


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