Web-Based Tools for Educating Caregivers About Childhood Fever: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Pediatric Emergency Care
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Fever is a common reason for an emergency department visit and misconceptions abound. We assessed the effectiveness of an interactive Web-based module (WBM), read-only Web site (ROW), and written and verbal information (standard of care [SOC]) to educate caregivers about fever in their children.
Caregivers in the emergency department were randomized to a WBM, ROW, or SOC. Primary outcome was the gain score on a novel questionnaire testing knowledge surrounding measurement and management of fever. Secondary outcome was caregiver satisfaction with the interventions.
There were 77, 79, and 77 participants in the WBM, ROW, and SOC groups, respectively. With a maximum of 33 points, Web-based interventions were associated with a significant mean (SD) pretest to immediate posttest gain score of 3.5 (4.2) for WBM (P < 0.001) and 3.5 (4.1) for ROW (P < 0.001) in contrast to a nonsignificant gain score of 0.1 (2.7) for SOC. Mean (SD) caregiver satisfaction scores (out of 32) for the WBM, ROW, and SOC groups were 22.6 (3.2), 20.7 (4.3), and 17 (6.2), respectively. All groups were significantly different from one another in the following rank: WBM > ROW > SOC (P < 0.001).
Web-based interventions are associated with significant improvements in caregiver knowledge about fever and high caregiver satisfaction. These interventions should be used to educate caregivers pending the demonstration of improved patient-centered outcomes.