[Attachment style in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus]

Acta Med Port. 2010 Jan-Feb;23(1):51-62. Epub 2010 Feb 10.
[Article in Portuguese]


Purpose: The aim of this study is to characterize patients with SLE in terms of attachment style, personality, psychopathological morbidity and quality of life, comparing them with a healthy volunteer group.

Method: We collected 53 patients diagnosed with SLE, in a specialized consultation of autoimmune diseases. The patients were characterized clinically (by means of SLICC/ACR, SLEDAI, length of disease and therapy) and psychologically at the same time. The psychological evaluation was made by the application of self-measured questionnaires, namely AAS, BSI, HADS, SF-36, EMBU and NEO-FFI, and also by the completion of a psychological interview.

Results: SLE patients adopted, mostly, an anxious, insecure attachment style. We found high levels of somatisation and psychopathological morbidity, particularly depression. We also observed an impairment of the quality of life in these patients. We found statistically significant and positive correlations between the insecure attachment styles and psychopathological morbidity, we also noticed negative associations with the dimensions of quality of life. By means of multiple linear regression models, some clinical variables (SLEDAI and SLICC/ACR) highlight as predictors of insecure attachment styles.

Conclusion: SLE has specific and particular characteristics that lead to insecure attachment styles, psychopathological morbidity and impairment of quality of life. Thus arises the need for a specific and complementary psychotherapeutic intervention, adapted to the needs of these patients.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Object Attachment*
  • Young Adult