The fever materials offer guidance to providers who wish to support health literacy with their clients. Parents are often alarmed when a child presents with pyrexia and the gamut of available resources, from well-intentioned friends or family members to a wide range or media streams, often are misguided and lack evidence-based solutions. We know that when patients understand basic health information, they are more likely to come to appropriate health decisions. Also, while clinical responses to pyrexia will vary, healthy systems providers can be more effective in service delivery when parents have made the necessary observations and tracked the development of their child’s condition.
The Fever handout, prepared as part of the Pediatric Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, was developed in multiple languages on the Washington State Department of Health website: English, Somali, Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese to meet predominant languages in Washington State. Populations most likely to experience low health literacy are older adults, racial and ethnic minorities, people with less than a high school degree or GED certificate, people with low income levels, non-native speakers of English, and people with compromised health status*.
The handouts can be printed and distributed to clients as part of a conversation on treating a child with a fever. By supporting health literacy with clients, a provider is achieving practice transformation.
*National Center for Education Statistics. 2006. The Health Literacy of America's Adults: Results From the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.