Backgraund and aim: The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of digital axillary thermometer (DAT), rectal glass mercury thermometer (RGMT) and infrared forehead skin thermometer (IFST) measurements made by mothers and physicians in healthy newborns.
Methods The body temperature measurements of 120 healthy newborns were made on their 2nd day of life using DAT, RGMT and IFST, first by mothers followed by a designated physician. Correlation analysis was performed for the measurements obtained by mothers and the physician. The presence of a former child or children at home, the educational level of the mother and maternal age were also recorded.
Results No correlation was observed between the measurements made by mothers and the physician using RGMT (R2=0.096). The temperatures measured by mothers and the physician showed a significant correlation when a DAT and IFST were used (R2=0.923, p<0.001; R2=0.916, p<0.001, respectively).
Conclusions Difficulty of use and interpretation make RGMTs less practical than DATs and IFST for use by mothers. Measurements with an IFST are obtained from a newborn’s forehead in a shorter length of time compared to DATs, which makes it a more practical option.