Background Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease of currently unknown etiology. Clinical manifestations of SLE are diverse and changing with time; it is a rare disease that can be life-threatening. Basic nursing training gives a general overview of SLE. For a nurse working with rheumatic patients, SLE is a challenging disease, which requires additional knowledge on the nursing care of patients with SLE.
Objectives To describe the nursing diagnoses and interventions for patients with SLE.
Methods An overview of relevant literature, published from 2003 to 2012. Presented here is a part of the author's graduation project at the Tallinn Health Care College.
Results The leading SLE patients' nursing diagnosis is pain, including arthralgia and myalgia in 95% (1), headache in 30-70% (2, 3), pleurodynia in 45-60%, abdominal pain in 30% (4) of cases. The other common diagnoses are fatigue (67-90%; 5), impaired physical activity (66%; 6), disturbed body image, and chronic unhappiness. SLE 's main nursing problems are not life-threatening, but they do have a noticeable effect on the patient's physical, social and psychological function. Nursing interventions include assessment and monitoring of the patient's mental and physical condition, patient teaching, counseling and encouragement according to the patient's needs and level of education. An effective nursing intervention is characterized by the improvement in SLE patient's adaptation and mental health.
Conclusions Identification of the problems of a SLE patient are particularly challenging due to great variation of the patient's individual concerns. Successful cooperation between a nurse and a SLE patient, which forms a solid basis for improving the patient's quality of life and coping, requires sound knowledge of SLE from nurses.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared