Background Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflamatory disease witch can affect different aspects of the patients life, leading to an impairment of health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
The aim of our study was to investigate the role of demographic, clinical, immunological and psychological aspects in influencing the HRQOL of Tunisian patients with SLE and to compare the efficiency of both generic and specific questionnaires of QOL.
Methods The Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-36) and the Lupus Quality of life (LupusQol) were applied in a cohort of 38 SLE patients. At the time of HRQOL testing, all patients underwent a clinical and laboratory evaluation, together with the measure of disease activity using the Systemic Lupus Erythematous Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI-2K). In addition, a battery of psychological tests including the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAS) and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) was applied.
Results The parameters which seemed to greatly influence the impairment of HRQOL were female gender, marital statues, a higher SLEDAI-2k scores as well as higher HAS and HAM-D scores. Arthralgia-arthritis, cutaneous disease activity, neurological disease activity and renal disease activity were correlated negatively with LupusQol subscales. There was a strong positive correlation beteween comparable domains of instruments. Although not as strong as comparable domains, significant correlations were also found between noncomparable domains of LupusQol and PCS and MCS of SF-36.
Conclusions SF-36 and LupusQol were both beneficial instruments in evaluating HRQOL of Tunisian patients with SLE. Anxiety, depression and disease activity in some organs seem to be the major deteminants of HRQOL impairment in SLE patients.
Funding Source(s): None
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