Old Program Offers New Way to Help Women With Lupus


(AUDIO) A well-established program for managing many aspects of chronic disease works well for African American women in an Atlanta lupus clinic. Dr. Christina Drenkard describes the promising outcomesa

Systemic lupus erythematosus presents challenges on many fronts at once: pain, energy, cognition, and mood. It can be especially difficult for minority women and those of low socioeconomic status to find the resources to manage all of these problems while adhering to the routine care of the condition itself.

At the recent American College of Rheumatology meeting in Washington, Dr. Christina Drenkard described an intervention that appears to help these patients grapple with many aspects of their condition. Her pilot study also showed that it resulted in improved clinical outcomes. In this brief recorded interview, she describes the program and its effects.

Dr. Drenkard is assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at Emory University in Atlanta.

The questions:

1. You have studied an intervention designed to help African-American women with lupus to self-manage their condition. What motivated you to conduct this study?

2. Please tell us more about the program you chose.

3. Please tell us briefly about the study design and the important findings.

4. What are the likely implications for rheumatologists treating patients with lupus?

Old Program Offers New Way to Help Women With Lupus

Key quotations:

"There is no self-management intervention for lupus that is broadly available and effective. Part of the problem I think is related to the low prevalence of the disease."

"This is a low-cost program that has been tested multiple times. It was developed in the early 90s ... extensively disseminated and it is now offered in multiple centers around the United States and the world. ... We thought that this would be a feasible self-management option for our lupus patients."

"Our results were really very encouraging ... We found significant improvements in different outcomes such as patients' physical health, self-confidence to management disease, management of cognitive symptoms, communication with doctors, and adherence to treatment."


For Your Reference: 
Drenkard C, Dunlop-Thomas C, Easley K, et al. Benefits of a self-management program in low-income African American women with systemic lupus erythematosus: result of a pilot test.
Lupus. 2012;21(14):1586-93

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Stanford School of Medicine


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