A study conducted in December of 2007 studied the complications arising from infections in patients diagnosed with systemic lupus eruthematosus (SLE). This study was published in 2009 and conducted by Su Jin Jeong, Heekyung Choi, Han Sung Lee, Sang Hoon Han, Bum Sik Chin, Ji-Hyeon Baek, Chang Oh Kim, Jun Young Choi, Young Goo Song and June Myung Kim. A retrospective case-control study was performed on 110 patients, and the group was divided into an infectious group or a control group. To meet the criteria of the infectious group the patients had to have had at least one infection related hospitalization requiring treatment from a consultant working with this experiment and at least one other infectious episode since diagnosis. Medical records and computer records were diligently collected and reviewed to collected. Data was analyzed using SPSS v. 11.0, Fisher’s exact test and an independent t-test.
The study concluded that although life expectancies were prolonged in patients with SLE, their rates of infections, which are the main cause of mortality, had not improved. Vulnerability to infections for these patients had many variables, including the dosage of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant drugs, age at diagnosis and the development of other complications such as lupus nephritis. It was found that the mortality rate related to infections among individuals with SLE was 2.01 higher than the general population because of the use of immunosuppressant medications along with an organic imbalance in the individual’s immune system causing SLE.
The flaws of this study included incomplete or missing medical record data on some patients. Another flaw was that medical records often did not include longitudinal information on patients, therefore objective measurements of the disease process was missing at times.
Sharon Danoff-Burg and Fred Friedberg published a study in the spring of 2009 reporting unmet needs of patients with SLE. One hundred-twelve subjects were recruited from Lupus Alliance of America and agreed to participate in this qualitative study that divided daily living into seven domains. Nine hundred-sixty SLE patients were mailed a 75-item questionnaire and 112 of these were returned.
The results showed that every participant had at least one unmet need, with the 98% of participants needing help with domain of managing physical symptoms of SLE. These symptoms included fatigue, headaches, pain, insomnia, dry mouth, and skin rashes. SLE patients had needs in their domains of daily living which included sun sensitivity, concentration problems, writing and reading problems and difficulty with driving. The needs of the physchological domain included depression, anger, uncertainty of the future, fear of disabilities and isolation. Social support domain showed unmet needs in areas of maintaining relationships with family members and obtaining physical and emotional support. Needs in the health services domain...