Quality of life in systemic lupus erythematosus

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S. Rinaldi *
A. Doria
F. Vescovi
S. Corbanese
L. Iaccarino
S. Della Libera
G. Perini
P.F. Gambari
(*) Corresponding Author:
S. Rinaldi | office@pagepress.org

Abstract

The SF-20 and the SF-36 are the most frequently used questionnaires for assessing the quality of life in SLE patients. The SF-36 is actually considered the most suitable for this disease, due to the inclusion of fatigue, a manifestation frequently observed in SLE patients. Using these instruments, it has been clearly demonstrated that patients with SLE have a worse quality of life than healthy people of the same age. Some aspects of daily life, like physical activity, job, social relationship and vitality, are particularly affected. In the majority of studies, an inverse relation between quality of life and disease activity has been observed. The influence the damage has on the quality of life is more complex, since a greater number of variables are involved. In fact, the amount of damage largely depends on the organ involved and on functional impairment resulting from it. To explain the variability in the quality of life among different patients, it is important to consider, besides the clinical complaints, the psycho-social dimension of each person. In fact, some SLE patients, unlike others, cope well with the disease. People behave differently when faced with critical situations, i.e. after being diagnosed with a chronic disease; their reaction depends on the degree of support they receive from family, friends and colleagues, and from the different strategies of coping, that they use.

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