Objective: To describe the patients' perceptions of the effects of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) on health, function, income, and interpersonal relationships.
Methods: 114 patients with SLE, and 79 patients with WG completed a self-administered questionnaire. Patients had been diagnosed with SLE or WG for a median period of 10 and 5 years, respectively.
Results: All patients experienced substantial functional morbidity. Two-thirds of the patients with SLE or WG reported either a periodic or permanent inability to perform daily activities at home and/or at work. Furthermore, SLE as well as WG had a considerable impact upon the psychological and social life, affecting their happiness and altering relationships.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that SLE and WG are associated with substantial medical morbidity resulting in physical and occupational disability. SLE has a profound impact on patients' lives, similar to that experienced in patients with WG.