To determine whether a historical complaint of fever is predictive of fever on emergency department triage.
We prospectively questioned 651 ambulatory adult patients in a military tertiary care emergency department as to whether they had fever before oral temperature was taken.
Fever was defined as a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or greater.
Sensitivity and specificity were 83% (95% confidence interval [CI], 71% to 95%) and 83% (95% CI, 80% to 86%), respectively.
The prevalence of objective fever was 6.4%, yielding positive and negative predictive values of 25% (95% CI, 18% to 32%) and 99% (95% CI, 93% to 100%), respectively.
Overall accuracy was 83% (95% CI, 80% to 86%). Conclusion : In this study, outpatients were fairly accurate in predicting fever.
However, in an outpatient population with a low overall prevalence of objective fever, the predictive value of a complaint of fever representing an objective fever remained low.
Therefore the complaint of subjective fever should be interpreted with caution when it is used to support a given diagnosis in an ambulatory care setting.
Mots-clés Pascal : Fièvre, Soin, Urgence, Aide diagnostic, Incidence, Service hospitalier, Epidémiologie, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Fever, Care, Emergency, Diagnostic aid, Incidence, Hospital ward, Epidemiology, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 96-0308842
Code Inist : 002B30A01A2. Création : 10/04/1997.