Quality of life in systemic lupus erythematosus patients during more and less active disease states: Differential contributors to mental and physical health
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OBJECTIVE: To identify determinants of mental and physical health as a function of disease state in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS: A sample of 129 SLE patients (mean age 42.01 years; SD 11.09) was recruited from 9 immunology/rheumatology clinics across Canada. Patients completed questionnaires assessing psychological distress, social support, coping, stress, and health-related quality of life. Physicians rated disease activity (using the revised Systemic Lupus Activity Measure; SLAM-R) and damage (using the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index). Mental and physical health composite scores were derived from the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36. Patients were subdivided into more active (SLAM-R > or = 10; n = 38) or less active disease states (n = 91). RESULTS: Better mental health was predicted by more education and less emotion-oriented coping in the patients in a more active disease state (P = 0.0001; R2 = 0.46). Better mental health was predicted by less stress, less emotion-oriented coping and more task-oriented coping in patients during a less active disease state (P = 0.0001; R2 = 0.45). Better physical health was predicted by more emotion-oriented coping in patients in a more active disease state (P = 0.04; R2 = 0.11). Better physical health was predicted by less stress and younger age in patients during a less active disease state (P = 0.0001; R2 = 0.20). CONCLUSION: The positive association between emotion-oriented coping and better physical health in patients during a more active disease state suggests that this style of coping may be more adaptive in situations that are considered uncontrollable (e.g., SLE flare). Predictors of mental health were similar to those found in the literature, especially for SLE patients in a less active disease state.
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