Illness perceptions in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and proliferative lupus nephritis

Daleboudt, G. M. N., Broadbent, E., Berger, S. P. & Kaptein, A. A., 1-Mar-2011, In : Lupus. 20, 3, p. 290-298 9 p.

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This study investigated the illness perceptions of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and whether perceptions are influenced by type of treatment for proliferative lupus nephritis. In addition, the illness perceptions of SLE patients were compared with those of patients with other chronic illnesses. Thirty-two patients who had experienced at least one episode of proliferative lupus nephritis were included. Patients were treated with either a high or low-dose cyclophosphamide (CYC) regimen (National Institutes of Health [NIH] vs. Euro-Lupus protocol). Illness perceptions were measured with the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (B-IPQ) and a drawing assignment. The low-dose CYC group perceived their treatment as more helpful than the high-dose CYC group. In comparison with patients with asthma, SLE patients showed more negative illness perceptions on five of the eight illness perception domains. Drawings of the kidney provided additional information about perceptions of treatment effectiveness, kidney function and patients' understanding of their illness. Drawing characteristics showed associations with perceptions of consequences, identity, concern and personal control. These findings suggest that the type of treatment SLE patients with proliferative lupus nephritis receive may influence perceptions of treatment effectiveness. In addition, patients' drawings reveal perceptions of damage caused by lupus nephritis to the kidneys and the extent of relief provided by treatment. The finding that SLE is experienced as a more severe illness than other chronic illnesses supports the need to more frequently assess and aim to improve psychological functioning in SLE patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-298
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1-Mar-2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Art, Asthma, Attitude to Health, Cyclophosphamide, Female, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Kidney, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Lupus Nephritis, Male, Severity of Illness Index, Surveys and Questionnaires, Treatment Outcome, Journal Article

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