discrete choice.

What matters when managing childhood fever in the emergency department? A discrete-choice experiment comparing the preferences of parents and healthcare professionals in the UK


Fever among children is a leading cause of emergency department (ED) attendance and a diagnostic conundrum; yet robust quantitative evidence regarding the preferences of parents and healthcare providers (HCPs) for managing fever is scarce.


To determine parental and HCP preferences for the management of paediatric febrile illness in the ED.


Ten children’s centres and a children’s ED in England from June 2018 to January 2019.


98 parents of children aged 0–11 years, and 99 HCPs took part.


Nine focus-groups and coin-ranking exercises were conducted with parents, and a discrete-choice experiment (DCE) was conducted with both parents and HCPs, which asked respondents to choose their preferred option of several hypothetical management scenarios for paediatric febrile illness, with differing levels of visit time, out-of-pocket costs, antibiotic prescribing, HCP grade and pain/discomfort from investigations.

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