Original articles

Knowledge, attitudes and practices of a selected group of parents on pre-hospital management of fever in children in a dengue-endemic area of Southern Sri Lanka



Introduction: Dengue is one of the hyperendemic diseases in Sri Lanka with high morbidity and mortality. This study was aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of group of parents on pre-hospital management of fever in their children.


Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted incorporating either one of the parents of 86 children with fever admitted to two paediatric units in Teaching Hospital Karapitiya and District General Hospital, Matara over two months during a dengue epidemic. A self -administered pretested questionnaire with demographic data and questions to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding pre-hospital management of dengue was used.


Results: There were 81 (94.2%) females. The majority (69.76%) had educated beyond GCE O/L. Only 27.9% knew that they have a risk of dengue. The majority (66.28%) had excluded dengue due to the presence of respiratory symptoms. More than half of the parents (55.81%) knew that treatment with NSAIDs could aggravate dengue but 32.56% preferred NSAIDs, due to misconception of pyrexia related cerebral injury. A large majority (89.53%) knew proper hydration is needed and had hydrated their children. However, only 33.72% knew that hospital admission is needed if fluid intake is inadequate and only 19.77% knew that hospitalisation is needed if urine output is low. Only 30.23% knew that full blood count (FBC) should be done on day 3 of illness and 45.34% of the participants had got it done before admission. The majority (65.1%) knew dengue NS1 antigen test and out of them 75% had got it done before hospitalisation.


Conclusions: Despite living in an endemic area, only a few parents knew that their children were at a risk of contracting dengue. Inadequate knowledge about the symptoms, when to hospitalize and misconceptions on treatment of fever were highlighted. Therefore, educating the parents on specific facts is effective.


AttitudesDengue feverKnowledgePracticesSri Lanka
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 17-22
  • DOI: 10.4038/gmj.v26i1.8078
  • Published on 26 Jul 2021
  • Peer Reviewed