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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 1998 Mar;12(3):217-25.

Pediatric primary care provider's knowledge of HIV/AIDS care.

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  • 1Division of General Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


To respond to the difficulties that community-based providers face in keeping abreast of the rapid changes in HIV-related care, an intensive pediatric HIV mentoring program (Pediatric HIV Miniresidency [MR]) was developed, linking a regional AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) with an urban children's hospital HIV outpatient care site. The purpose of this study was to evaluate HIV-related knowledge and perceived skills, abilities, and willingness of community-based primary care pediatric providers and providers completing the MR. A convenience sample of community-based primary pediatric practitioners and those participants in the MR program completed a three-part mailed survey. The survey assessed practice characteristics, knowledge of pediatric HIV clinical care, and perceived skills, ability, and willingness (PSAW) to provide HIV-related care. The main outcome measures were overall knowledge and PSAW scores. One hundred nineteen community-based practitioners (NMRs), 20% of those surveyed, completed the instrument, as did 19 of 20 MR participants. NMRs exhibited low knowledge scores in key areas relating to the identification and evaluation of HIV-exposed children. Fewer than half of these respondents correctly answered questions related to HIV antibody incidence in HIV-exposed newborns and recommended diagnostic testing of such infants. Providers completing the MR scored significantly higher on the knowledge survey (15.2 vs. 8.8, p < 0.001), and had higher PSAW scores (45.8 vs. 33.9, p < 0.001). Although the generalizability of our study is limited by the low response rate, community-based physicians completing the survey demonstrated a lack of knowledge we believe necessary to provide pediatric HIV-related care (as defined by Public Health Service practice guidelines). Physicians completing the MR program had substantial HIV-related knowledge and expressed a willingness to provide care to HIV-exposed/infected children. An effective MR program provides a mechanism for developing a network of dedicated community-based physicians who are willing and capable of providing care to HIV-infected or exposed infants and children.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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