Identifying the level of lupus patients’ comprehension of their medication regimens and disease outcomes
A questionnaire used to understand a patient’s comprehension of their personalized medication plan and the disease fluctuation of systemic lupus erythematous (SLE).
Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue in its own body. The disease has a prevalance of twenty to 150 cases per 100,000 individuals, and is more common in females than in men. This chronic disease has no cure, and suggested method of treatment is by working with a physician on controlling the symptoms and creating lifestyle modifications. Recent domestic and international peer reviewed studies between twins and relatives, suggest that genetics play a role in the pathogenesis of SLE.
According to recent surveys however, data suggests that a patients and doctors knowledge and perspective on the disease are distant and often conflicting. This can lead to severe and even life threatening problems, such as the misuse of certain prescription drugs. A method for doctors to use that can assess not only their patients understanding of the disease, but also the nuances of their personalized treatment plan is an important need for physicians and rheumatologists working in this field.
Dr. Alexa Meara and colleagues at the Ohio State University have developed a twenty-five item true/false questionaire designed for SLE patients. The purpose of this questionaire is to assess patients knowledge on the SLE and possible medications. After the questionaire was developed, it was adminstered to 100 pateints in clinics during routine visits. Following patient feedback, the questionaire was edited to ensure that it was feasible for SLE patients, with the appropriate literacy. This valuable tool can be utilized to not only improve a patients understanding of their disease and medication, but also improve communication and relationship between the doctor and patient.