Objectives: To compare systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) disease activity measured by a modified Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (m-SLAM) with functional/health status measured by the SF-36 questionnaire.
Patients and methods: m-SLAM and SF-36 scores were obtained on 71 SLE patients during 242 clinic visits over 15 months. Patients were stratified into disease activity groups (m-SLAM <2 = remission; 2-4 = mild; 4-6 = moderate; >6 = severe). Mean SF-36 group scores were compared by analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Results: Two hundred and nineteen m-SLAM and SF-36 scores were completed. The disease activity groups correlated inversely with the SF-36 scores in all eight subscales, i.e. the patients' perceived health, as assessed by the SF-36, correlated with their disease activity level as measured by the m-SLAM. Inverse correlation of SLAM activity groups with all eight SF-36 subscales was highly statistically significant.
Conclusion: The significant inverse correlation of the m-SLAM with all domains of the SF-36 in this study provides potentially useful information for evaluating patients with SLE.