Significant health toll felt by patients with systemic lupus erythematosus during COVID-19
Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) experienced significant physical and emotional tolls during the COVID-19 pandemic and require ongoing comprehensive patient-centered care to address these issues as the health crisis continues, according to a study published in the journal Lupus.
A web-based questionnaire was completed by 63 patients with SLE in the summer of 2020. Increased anxiety and depression were reported by 47.5% and 48.3% of respondents, respectively. More than 40% scored worse in measures of pain interference, fatigue, and cognitive abilities.
Participants who had a history of anxiety were 3 times as likely to say they had worsened health status during the pandemic. Most patients said they did not have difficulty accessing medication or medical care. More than half of respondents said they utilized telehealth visits.
In the free-text response spaces, participants often mentioned anxiety and increased health risks due to immunosuppression.
Kasturi S, Price LL, Paushkin V, et al. Impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on systemic lupus erythematosus patients: Results from a multi-center prospective cohort. Lupus. 2021;9612033211033981. doi: 10.1177/09612033211033981. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34284676.