adult, Australian government guidelines, consumer health information, fever, information seeking behavior, Internet, symptom appraisal



  1. Hook, Jody
  2. Smith, Sheree M.


Background: The public often searches the Internet for information about managing symptoms of various diseases, with government and major hospital websites often providing valid and freely available information.


Objectives: Fever is a common symptom of viral illness, and this review sought to identify information related to fever self-management on government and major hospital websites.


Methods: Two distinct search strategies were used. The first was an Internet-based search reviewing fever management advice published on Australian government websites (state, territory, and federal). The second search strategy pertained to fever management advice posted by major Australian tertiary adult and children's hospitals.


Results: A total of 4,797 results were identified during the two searches, with a total of 12 websites on fever self-management identified for inclusion; four were from either federal or state government, with the remaining eight from tertiary hospital websites. The information identified showed a discordant definition of fever and lack of consistency in self-management advice.


Discussion: This review identified a lack of consistent online government and hospital information. The information discrepancy across multiple websites was not underpinned by clinical evidence to support the self-management of fever.