Quality-of-life predictor factors in patients with SLE and their modification after cognitive behavioural therapy

Lupus. 2010 Dec;19(14):1632-9. doi: 10.1177/0961203310378413. Epub 2010 Sep 14.


Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the clinical and psychological factors linked to health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and test the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy in changing these factors.

Methods: We evaluated 34 patients with SLE over a period of 15 months. In order to study the variables related to items of QOL and the physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component summaries of the SF-36, several multiple linear regression models were constructed. Patients were randomized and distributed into two similar groups; one of them received cognitive behavioural therapy and the other received the usual controlled care. The psychological aspects as well as the related-disease factors were evaluated four times during the study.

Results: Self-perceived stress (R² corrected: 0.314, t: -2.476, p < 0.021), vulnerability to stress (R² corrected: 0.448, T: -2.166, p < 0.04) and anxiety (R² corrected: 0.689, T: -7.294, p < 0.00) were predictor variables of MCS. The group of patients who received the therapy improved their level of physical role functioning, vitality, general health perceptions and mental health, compared with the group of patients who only received conventional care.

Conclusion: QOL usually depends on multiple factors, some of which are stress and anxiety, which can be modified by a cognitive behavioural therapy, in order to obtain a significant improvement in the HRQOL, irrespective of the activity level of the disease. Frequent evaluations of the quality of life in patients with SLE and psychological treatment should also be considered.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy