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Adult nursing
‘Redefining normal: a fresh perspective on oral temperature’
  1. Waleed Javaid
  1. Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Waleed Javaid, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA; waleed.javaid{at}

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Commentary on: Ley C, Heath F, Hastie T, et al. Defining Usual Oral Temperature Ranges in Outpatients Using an Unsupervised Learning Algorithm. JAMA Intern Med. 2023 Oct 1;183(10):1128-1135. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2023.4291.

Implications for practice and research


  • This study suggests that clinicians should consider age, sex, height, weight and time of day when assessing a patient’s oral temperature.

  • Consider moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to fever diagnosis.


  • Future research should focus on how these individualised temperature norms can be integrated into clinical decision-making processes.

  • Develop new diagnostic criteria for fever.


Traditionally, the ‘normal’ oral temperature of 37°C has been a long-standing benchmark in health assessments. However, this standard fails to consider individual variability influenced by age, sex and metabolism. Ley et al1 study addresses this gap by exploring the range of normal temperatures across a diverse outpatient population using advanced data analysis techniques. …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.