Background Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic connective tissue disease with involvement of various organ systems and characteristically has a higher incidence in women than men1. The disease, as well as its treatment, could have significant effects on the quality of life of lupus patients.
Objectives Here, we aimed to investigate the impact of SLE on quality of the social and family life of women.
Methods One hundred and twenty women diagnosed with SLE were included in the study. A questionnaire including questions about family and social relations were applied and demographic information, educational status, marital status, organ involvement and treatment data were obtained. The results of this study are preliminary and the study is still ongoing.
Results One hundred and twenty patients were studied. The average age was 37 (± 10). 77 patients were married, 29 patients were single, 12 patients were divorced and 2 patients were widows. 29% of the patients were employed. 10,8% of the patients declared having difficulty in accepting their illnesses. 94,8% of the married patients had nuclear families. Relationship with partners and family members detoriated in 15,5% of the married patients after the diagnosis of SLE.
10,7% of single patients ended their serious relationships and 28,6% developed negative thoughts about marriage after the diagnosis of SLE.
17,6% of the married patients were exposed to verbal or physical violence by their partners. 33% of the patients declared having worse social life compared to prior to diagnosis and 20,7% declared having poor relations with their friends due to their disease. 34.5% of the patients stated that they received psychological counseling after their diagnosis. No significant relationship was found between family problems, social activities, age and educational level.
Conclusions Systemic lupus erythematosus is a connective tissue disease affecting various organ systems and leading to various comorbidities. Our results suggest that family and social relations detoriate in lupus patients due to their illness independent of their age and educational level. Over one third of the patients received psychological counseling after diagnosis. Moreover, results of this study suggest that having a diagnosis of lupus has substantial impact on the marital considerations.
Hochberg, Marc C. Updating the American College of Rheumatology revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis & Rheumatology 40.9 (1997): 1725–1725.
Disclosure of Interest None declared