Evaluating student pharmacist knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in caring for paediatric patients with HIV


  • Kimberly C. McKeirnan Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Spokane, Washington, United States https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1039-1311
  • Sorosh Kherghehpoush University of California Davis Health Medical Center, Sacramento, California, United States https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0715-5924
  • Kavya Vaitla Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Spokane, Washington, United States https://orcid.org/0009-0000-1410-4722
  • Rustin D. Crutchley Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Spokane, Washington, United States https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0686-4462
  • Angie Gladchuk Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Spokane, Washington, United States




Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Paediatric, Pharmacy education, Pharmacy practice


Background: Despite advances in the management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), people living with HIV (PLWH) experience stigma that impacts the healthcare they receive. Numerous studies demonstrate that provider education regarding HIV helps alleviate bias. Pharmacy schools significantly vary in their curriculum surrounding HIV education, with a limited focus on HIV in the paediatric population. Being one of the most accessible healthcare providers, improving pharmacist education and attitudes could positively impact treatment outcomes for children living with HIV.

Method: An Advanced HIV Elective course that included content in the management of children living with HIV (CLWH) was developed and implemented by faculty at a Doctor of Pharmacy program in the United States. Student pharmacist knowledge, confidence, and perceptions of providing care for this population were assessed before and after the didactic module.

Results: The incorporation of a paediatric HIV module increased the knowledge and confidence of student pharmacists in the management of PLWH and CLWH. Areas of improvement include the selection of antiretroviral therapy (ART), ART medication counselling, and paediatric immunisations. However, a significant difference in attitudes and perceptions towards PLWH and CLWH was not observed.

Conclusion: Although improvement in student pharmacist knowledge and confidence was seen after the implementation of a paediatric HIV module, innovative ways to address bias, stigma, and misinformation are needed to promote positive health outcomes for marginalised communities, including those living with HIV.


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How to Cite

McKeirnan, K. C., Kherghehpoush, S., Vaitla, K., Crutchley, R. D., & Gladchuk, A. (2023). Evaluating student pharmacist knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in caring for paediatric patients with HIV. Pharmacy Education, 23(1), p. 368–375. https://doi.org/10.46542/pe.2023.231.368375



Research Article