Graduate Degree Type
College of Nursing
William C. Bell
There are inconsistent guidelines for, and consequently, inconsistent practice in the screening of hospitalized adults for fever. Using the predictive knowledge of circadian thermal rhythms, the purposes of this study were to identify (1) the hour of the day in which most fevers occurred and (2) the necessary frequency of measurement to detect fever. The sample consisted of 35 subjects, ages 22-62. Temperatures were measured at 6 p.m., 10 p.m., 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. for 24 hours. Eighteen (51.42%) of the 35 subjects had fevers during the 24-hour measurement period. Fourteen (77.78%) initial fevers were detected at each of the 6 p.m. measurements. Two (11.11%) initial fevers were detected at 10 p.m. These two subjects continued to be febrile at 6 p.m. the following day. No initial fevers were detected at 6 a.m., 10 a.m., or 2 p.m.
Heckman, Michele S., "Use of Circadian Rhythms to Screen for Fever: A Replication" (1988). Masters Theses. 83.