Stress and coping strategies in systemic lupus erythematosus: a review

Neuroimmunomodulation. 2006;13(5-6):283-93. doi: 10.1159/000104856. Epub 2007 Aug 6.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a chronic and unpredictable disease accompanied by functional disability and a possible involvement of the central nervous system, leads to considerable psychological distress. A review of studies on stress and/or coping strategies in SLE since 1990 is presented. Many studies have investigated the place of major and minor stress and coping strategies in SLE morbidity (disease activity, organ damage, and physical and mental components of quality of life). Stress as a causal factor is not proved, but it seems to act as an exacerbating factor in disease activity and to have an impact on the quality of life. Coping strategies are more consistently associated with quality of life than with disease activity. Organ damage appears to be less associated with psychosocial factors than disease activity or quality of life. Despite the limitations of these studies, therapeutic interventions should be proposed to reduce psychological distress, to improve the quality of life and possibly to moderate the evolution of the disease.

Publication types

  • Duplicate Publication
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological*