Effects of psychological interventions for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Lupus. 2012 Sep;21(10):1077-87. doi: 10.1177/0961203312447667. Epub 2012 May 8.


The purpose of this systematic review was to quantify the effects of psychological interventions on psychological health, physical health and disease activity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Studies were identified through a systematic search of six electronic databases and were included if they used a randomized controlled trial designed to explore the effects of psychological interventions in patients with SLE. Two authors independently assessed the methodological quality of included studies using a quality-scoring instrument developed by Jadad et al. and extracted relevant information according to a pre-designed extraction form. Data was analysed using the Cochrane Collaboration's Revman5.1. Finally, six studies involving 537 patients were included. Meta-analysis showed that psychological interventions could reduce the levels of anxiety (standard mean difference (SMD) -0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.57,-0.34, p-value 0.00), depression (SMD -1.14, 95% CI -1.84,-0.44, p-value 0.00), stress (SMD -0.63, 95% CI -1.02,-0.23, p-value 0.00), and disease activity (SMD -0.34, 95% CI -0.57,-0.11, p-value 0.00). Although the effects on mental health, fatigue and physical function were in the expected direction, they were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The present data indicate that psychological interventions are promising treatments for patients with SLE. The findings were based on only six randomized controlled trials (RCTs), some of which were relatively small, so more methodologically rigorous large-scale randomized controlled trials are required to confirm these preliminary estimates of effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Depression / therapy
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy*
  • Mental Health
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy