Psychosocial contributors to mental and physical health in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Arthritis Care Res. 1998 Feb;11(1):23-31. doi: 10.1002/art.1790110105.


Objective: To delineate psychosocial and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-related medical factors that contribute to the mental and physical health of SLE patients.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 44 women completed standardized instruments assessing daily hassles, social support, psychologic distress, and quality of life and underwent a physician examination to assess disease activity and disease damage. Four multiple linear regression analyses were computed to identify factors associated with the following outcomes: patient-perceived psychologic distress and global physical health and physician-assessed disease activity and damage. Variables entered into the regression analyses were: hassles severity, types of social support, SLE disease activity and damage, age, disease duration, education, ethnicity, and global psychologic distress (for the outcomes of self-perceived global physical health and disease activity and damage).

Results: The best model explaining global psychologic distress included hassles severity and self-esteem social support. The best model explaining patients' perceptions of their global physical health included hassles severity and tangible social support. Psychologic distress accounted for a significant proportion of variance in both disease activity and damage.

Conclusion: High stress (assessed by hassles severity), poor social support, and psychologic distress--potentially modifiable variables--are associated with the mental and physical health of SLE patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology*
  • Mental Health*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological