Group psychosocial program for enhancing psychological well-being of people with systemic lupus erythematosus

J Soc Work Disabil Rehabil. 2007;6(3):75-87. doi: 10.1300/J198v06n03_05.


Emotional ups and downs are common among people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) as they live with fears about treatment, pain from the illness and unexpected "flare-ups." The side effects of medications have a severe impact on their self-esteem and lead to psychological distress. This paper reports a study on the impact of a psychosocial group program on the self-esteem and psychosocial functioning of people with SLE. A total of 56 people with SLE were recruited to participate in a 6-week, 2.5-hour weekly session psychosocial group. The group served to equip members with knowledge and skills to cope with SLE and stress arising from the illness, to enhance their self-confidence and develop a positive attitude toward the illness, and to enhance their social support network. The members were assessed before the commencement and during the last session of the groups with Rosenberg's Self-esteem Inventory and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30). Results showed that members obtained better scores in self-esteem (p < 0.001) and GHQ (p < 0.001) after the group. The study revealed significant positive changes in self-esteem and psychosocial functioning of people with SLE after the psychosocial group program. The implications for psychosocial programs for people with SLE are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotherapy, Group / organization & administration*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Self Concept
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome